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To examine the consumption of plain water among children in France and compare total water intakes with guidelines issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Nationally representative data were used to assess food, beverage and water consumption by sex, age group (4–8 years, 9–13 years), income-to-poverty ratio, eating occasion and location. Beverages were classified into nine groups: water (tap or bottled), milk, 100 % fruit juice, sodas, fruit drinks, hot beverages, sports drinks and flavoured waters. Total water volume in relation to energy intake (litres/kcal) was also examined.
INCA 2 study (Étude Individuelle Nationale des Consommations Alimentaires 2006–2007).
French children (n 835) aged 4–13 years.
Total water intakes were accounted for by plain water (34 %), beverages (26 %) and food moisture (40 %). Plain water could be tap (18 %) or bottled (16 %). Older children drank more plain water than did younger children and boys drank more plain water than did girls. No socio-economic gradient for plain water consumption was observed. About 90 % of children did not meet the EFSA water intake recommendations. The daily water shortfall ranged from 367 to 594 ml/d. Water-to-energy ratio was 0·75–0·77 litres/1000 kcal (4184 kJ). Children drank milk at breakfast and plain water during lunch and dinner. Caloric beverages provided 10 % of dietary energy; consumption patterns varied by eating location.
Total water intakes among young children in France were below EFSA-recommended levels. Analyses of beverage consumption patterns by eating occasion and location can help identify ways to increase water consumption among children.
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