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Water intake and beverage consumption of pre-schoolers from six European countries and associations with socio-economic status: the ToyBox-study

  • An-Sofie Pinket (a1), Marieke De Craemer (a2), Lea Maes (a1), Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij (a2), Greet Cardon (a2), Odysseas Androutsos (a3), Berthold Koletzko (a4), Luis Moreno (a5), Piotr Socha (a6), Violeta Iotova (a7), Yannis Manios (a3) and Wendy Van Lippevelde (a1)...

Abstract

Objective

To study the quantity and quality of water intake from beverages among pre-schoolers and investigate associations with gender and socio-economic status (SES).

Design

Kindergarten-based cross-sectional survey within the large-scale European ToyBox-study. A standardized protocol was used and parents/caregivers filled in sociodemographic data and a semi-quantitative FFQ.

Setting

Kindergartens in six European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain).

Subjects

European pre-schoolers (aged 3·5–5·5 years) and their parents/caregivers (n 7051).

Results

Mean water intake was 1051 ml/d; plain water, 547 ml/d; plain milk, 241 ml/d; other fruit juice, 104 ml/d; pure fruit juice, 59 ml/d; soft drinks, 55 ml/d; tea, 45 ml/d; sugared and chocolate milk, 37 ml/d; smoothies, 15 ml/d; and light soft drinks, 6 ml/d. Boys had a higher water intake than girls due to a higher consumption of plain water, but more importantly to the consumption of beverages of less quality. Lower-SES pre-schoolers scored better on quantity than high-SES pre-schoolers, but as a consequence of consumption of sugared beverages. Nevertheless, the associations differed by country.

Conclusions

The water intake from beverages did not meet the European Food Safety Authority standard of 1280 ml/d; especially in Western European countries water intake from beverages was low. The most important water sources were plain water, milk and fruit juices. Interventions aiming at a proper and sufficient water intake should focus on both quantity and quality. Messages about water and water sources should be clear for everyone and interventions should be sufficiently tailored.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email ansofie.pinket@ugent.be

References

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