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The aim was to investigate autumn vitamin D intake and status in 7-year-old Icelanders, fitting BMI and cardiorespiratory fitness as predictors.
Three-day food records and fasting blood samples were collected evenly from September to November, and cardiorespiratory fitness was measured with an ergometer bike. Food and nutrient intakes were calculated, and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (s-25(OH)D) and serum parathyroid hormone were analysed. Suboptimal vitamin D status was defined s-25(OH)D <50 nmol/l, and deficient status as s-25(OH)D <25 nmol/l.
School-based study in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2006.
Of the 7-year-olds studied (n 265), 165 returned valid intake information (62 %), 158 gave blood samples (60 %) and 120 gave both (45 %).
Recommended vitamin D intake (10 μg/d) was reached by 22·4 % of the children and 65·2 % had s-25(OH)D <50 nmol/l. Median s-25(OH)D was higher for children taking vitamin D supplements (49·2 nmol/l v. 43·2 nmol/l, respectively; P < 0·0 0 1). Median s-25(OH)D was lower in November (36·7 nmol/l) than in September (59·9 nmol/l; P < 0·001). The regression model showed that week of autumn accounted for 18·9 % of the variance in s-25(OH)D (P < 0·001), vitamin D intake 5·2 % (P < 0·004) and cardiorespiratory fitness 4·6 % (P < 0·005).
A minority of children followed the vitamin D recommendations and 65 % had suboptimal vitamin D status during the autumn. Week of autumn was more strongly associated with vitamin D status than diet or cardiorespiratory fitness, which associated with vitamin D status to a similar extent. These results demonstrate the importance of sunlight exposure during summer to prevent suboptimal vitamin D status in young schoolchildren during autumn in northern countries. An increased effort is needed for enabling adherence to the vitamin D recommendations and increasing outdoor activities for sunlight exposure.
To assess the effects of a school-based intervention on the diets of 7–9-year-olds.
Dietary intake of children in second and fourth grades was assessed with 3d weighed dietary records in autumn 2006 and autumn 2008, before and after a school-based intervention that started in the middle of second grade, and compared with control schools with no intervention. The diet was evaluated by comparison with food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) and reference values for nutrient intake. The intervention aimed at several determinants of intake: knowledge, awareness, preferences/taste, self-efficacy and parental influence. Nutrition education material was developed for the intervention and implemented in collaboration with teachers. The main focus of the intervention was on fruit and vegetable intake as the children’s intake was far from meeting the FBDG on fruit and vegetables at baseline.
Elementary schools in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Complete dietary records were available for 106 children both at baseline and follow-up.
Total fruit and vegetable intake increased by 47 % in the intervention schools (mean: 61·3 (sd 126·4) g/d) and decreased by 27 % in the control schools (mean: 46·5 (sd 105·3) g/d; P < 0·001). The majority of the children in the intervention schools did still not meet the FBDG on fruits and vegetables at follow-up. Fibre intake increased significantly in the intervention schools, as well as that of potassium, magnesium, β-carotene and vitamin C (borderline).
The school-based intervention in 7–9-year-olds was effective in increasing fruit and vegetable intake, by 47 % increase from baseline, which was mirrored in nutrient intake.
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