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To compare the anthropometric, alimentary, nutritional and lipid profiles and global diet quality of Spanish children according to saturated fat intake.
This was a cross-sectional study. Food data were collected using a food-frequency questionnaire.
Subjects and methods
The sample included 1112 children of both sexes, aged between 6 and 7 years, selected by means of random cluster sampling in schools. The plasma lipid profile included measurements of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides, apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1) and apolipoprotein B (apoB). Global diet quality was evaluated by the Dietary Variety Index (DVI) and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI).
Energy intake, DVI and HEI of children from the lower quartile of saturated fat intake (LL) were higher (P < 001) than in the remaining children (UL). However, there were no significant differences in average height or weight between groups. The UL children had lower intakes of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and olive oil and a higher intake of dairy products (P < 0.001). The intakes of fibre, vitamins C, D, B6, E and folic acid were higher in the LL children, who had lower intakes of vitamin A and calcium. The ratios LDL-C/HDL-C and apoB/apoA1 were lower (P = 0.04) in the LL children (1.87 and 0.52, respectively) than in the UL children (2.02 and 0.54, respectively).
The growth rate of children does not seem to be affected by the level of saturated fat intake. Furthermore, at the levels of intake observed in this study, diets with less saturated fat are associated with better alimentary, nutritional and plasma lipid profiles.
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