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The relationship of meal and snacking patterns with overall dietary intake and relative weight in children is unclear. The current study was done to examine how eating, snack and meal frequencies relate to total energy intake and diet quality.
The cross-sectional associations of eating, meal and snack frequencies with total energy intake and diet quality, measured by the Healthy Eating Index 2005 (HEI-2005), were examined in separate multivariable mixed models. Differences were examined between elementary school-age participants (9–11 years) and adolescents (12–15 years).
Two non-consecutive 24 h diet recalls were collected from children attending four schools in the greater Boston area, MA, USA.
One hundred and seventy-six schoolchildren, aged 9–15 years.
Overall, 82 % of participants consumed three daily meals. Eating, meal and snack frequencies were statistically significantly and positively associated with total energy intake. Each additional reported meal and snack was associated with an 18·5 % and a 9·4 % increase in total energy intake, respectively (P<0·001). The relationships of eating, meal and snack frequencies with diet quality differed by age category. In elementary school-age participants, total eating occasions and snacks increased HEI-2005 score. In adolescents, each additional meal increased HEI-2005 score by 5·40 points (P=0·01), whereas each additional snack decreased HEI-2005 score by 2·73 points (P=0·006).
Findings suggest that snacking increases energy intake in schoolchildren. Snacking is associated with better diet quality in elementary school-age children and lower diet quality in adolescents. Further research is needed to elucidate the role of snacking in excess weight gain in children and adolescents.
The proportion of the Latin American population aged >60 years is expected to double during the next few decades. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with high morbidity and mortality worldwide. However, little is known about MetS in Latin America in general, and in Ecuador in particular. The present study aimed to examine the prevalence of MetS and its association with blood micronutrient, homocysteine (Hcy) and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations in the elderly living in a low-income urban area.
We performed a cross-sectional study. MetS, using the International Diabetes Federation definition, dietary intake and plasma micronutrient, CRP and Hcy concentrations were assessed.
A total of 352 elderly (≥65 years) Ecuadorians.
MetS was prevalent (40 %) – considerably more so among women (81 %) than men (19 %; χ2 = 32·6, P < 0·0001). Further, 53 % of those without MetS exhibited two or more of its components. Micronutrient deficiencies were prevalent, including those of vitamin C, zinc, vitamin B12 and folate. Vitamin C and E concentrations were inversely (OR = 0·78, 95 % CI 0·71, 0·86; OR = 0·16, 95 % CI 0·03, 0·81, respectively) and CRP (OR = 1·79, 95 % CI 1·04, 3·06) was positively associated with MetS.
The coexistence of MetS with micronutrient deficiencies suggests that elderly Ecuadorians suffer from the double burden of diseases that are increasingly being observed in less developed countries. More research is needed to determine the causal factors, but results presented suggest that these older adults would benefit from interventions to reduce the risk factors for MetS, in particular higher consumption of micronutrient-rich foods.
To summarise the literature on energy requirements and aging.
An analysis and review of published data on components of energy expenditure and total energy expenditure (TEE).
Data on basal metabolic rate (BMR) and TEE were obtained from the US Institute of Medicine of the National Academies database (all available data from studies published before 2001, collected from 20 researchers willing to provide individual subject results).
Those individuals from the database who were 20–100 years of age.
TEE and physical activity level (PAL, defined as the ratio of total to resting energy expenditure) declined progressively throughout adult life in both normal weight and overweight men and women. In normal weight individuals (defined as body mass index (BMI) 18.5–25.0 kg m-2) TEE fell by ≈150 kcal per decade, and PAL fell from an average of 1.75 in the second decade of life to 1.28 in the ninth decade. Thermic effect of feeding data from other published studies indicated no consistent change associated with aging.
Aging is associated with progressive declines in resting and TEE, which have implications for defining dietary energy requirements at different stages of adult life.
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