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Despite the increasing market share of commercial complementary foods, their nutritional characteristics and those associated with the price of products are still unknown in Japan. We compared the nutritional characteristics of commercially available complementary foods of different price levels in Japan. Data were obtained from the websites of Japanese brands of infant and young children’s food. Nutrient profiles (unit/100 g), ingredients, and food additives were compared between low- and high-priced products by product type. Sixty-three dry meals, 425 soft meals, 187 snacks and sweets, and 60 drinks were analysed. One-fifth of meals and snacks exceeded the CODEX-defined 200 mg Na/100 g limit. Most products lacked content information on nutrients nonmandated to be indicated. High-priced soft meals contained more protein (2.5 vs 1.9 g/100 g) and less sodium (0.18 vs 0.46 g/100 g), less frequently used ≥1 added sugar (23% vs 82%), and less frequently used food additives than low-priced products; however, they had a lower variety of ingredients. The prevalence of products containing ≥1 added sugar was higher in low-priced snacks and sweets (91% vs 77%) but lower in drinks (48% vs 84%) than in their high-priced counterparts. High sodium content is a concern among commercial complementary foods in Japan. Nonetheless, the relationship between the price and nutritional profile of these foods differs by product type. High-priced soft meals might be more favourable regarding nutrient content but not the variety of ingredients than low-priced soft meals. These findings elucidate the nutritional characteristics of commercial complementary foods in Japan.
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relative validity of food and nutrient intakes and overall diet quality scores derived using a newly developed dietary assessment questionnaire (food combination questionnaire, FCQ). Dietary data were collected from 222 Japanese adults (111 for each sex) aged 30–76 years using the online FCQ and then the 4-non-consective-day weighed dietary record (DR). The median of Spearman correlation coefficients for sixteen food groups was 0⋅32 among women and 0⋅38 among men. The median of Pearson correlation coefficients for forty-six nutrients was 0⋅34 among women and 0⋅31 among men. The Pearson correlation coefficient between the total scores of Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) derived from the DR and FCQ was 0⋅37 among women and 0⋅39 among men. The corresponding value for the Nutrient-Rich Food Index 9.3 (NRF9.3) total scores was 0⋅39 among women and 0⋅46 among men. Bland–Altman plots for these diet quality scores showed poor agreement at the individual level, although mean difference was small for the HEI-2015 (but not NRF9.3). Similar results were obtained using the paper version of FCQ, which was answered after conducting the DR, except for somewhat high Pearson correlation coefficients for the total scores of HEI-2015 (0⋅50 among both women and men) and NRF9.3 (0⋅37 among women and 0⋅53 among men). In conclusion, this analysis may lend support to the possible use of the FCQ as a rapid dietary assessment tool in large-scale epidemiologic studies in Japan, but further refinement of this tool should be pursued.
The present study aimed to (1) examine the changes in sleep habits and dietary intake among school-aged children after the school re-opening from a 3-month closure (without school lunch) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) examine whether the changes differ between those with different temporal patterns of sleep and eating during school closure, namely, ‘Very early’, ‘Early’, ‘Late’ and ‘Very late’. The latter patterns were characterised by later timings of wake up, breakfast and lunch. Questionnaires were answered twice by 4084 children (aged 8–15 years), themselves and/or their parents: first in June 2020 (for assessing lifestyle during school closure) and second, from July 2020 to February 2021 (for assessing lifestyle after school opening). After school re-opening, the participants’ wake-up time became an hour earlier (95 % CI 1⋅0, 1⋅1) and sleep duration got 0⋅94 h shorter (95 % CI 0⋅91, 0⋅97) than during school closure. An increase in dietary intake was observed for thiamine, vitamin B6, potassium, fruits and dairy products, and a decrease was observed for sugars (as foods) and confectioneries and sweetened beverages, despite small effect sizes (Cohen's d: 0⋅20–0⋅30). Significant changes in wake-up time, sleep duration and sweetened beverage intake were observed among children with the latter temporal patterns. Thus, children wake up earlier and sleep for shorter durations after school re-opening than during school closure; however, changes in dietary intake were generally insignificant. Dietary intake among school-aged children in Japan during school closure (without school lunch) might not be worse than that during school days with universal school lunch.
The aim of this study was to examine the relative validity of the online Meal-based Diet History Questionnaire (MDHQ) for assessing the overall diet quality and quality of each meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). In total, 222 Japanese adults (111 for each sex) aged 30–76 years completed the online MDHQ and then the 4-non-consecutive-day weighed dietary record (DR). The diet quality was assessed using the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) and Nutrient-Rich Food Index 9.3 (NRF9.3). For the HEI-2015, compared with the DR, the MDHQ provided high median values for breakfast (in women only) and dinner and low median values for snacks. There were no significant differences observed for overall diet and lunch. For the NRF9.3, the MDHQ provided higher median values for breakfast and dinner and a lower median value for overall diet than the DR in women, with no significant differences for lunch and snacks. In men, no significant difference was observed, except for overall diet (the MDHQ providing a lower median value). For the HEI-2015, median Spearman correlation coefficient was 0·43, with a range from 0·12 (snacks in women) to 0·68 (breakfast in men). For the NRF9.3, median Spearman correlation coefficient was 0·47, with a range from 0·26 (snacks in men) to 0·65 (breakfast in men). Bland–Altman plots showed wide limits of agreement and, in some cases, proportional bias. In conclusion, the online MDHQ showed an acceptable ability for ranking individuals according to the quality of overall diet, breakfast, lunch and dinner, but not snacks.
To identify temporal patterns of sleep and eating among school-age children during school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to examine their associations with lifestyle behaviours and dietary intake.
In this cross-sectional study, questionnaires were used to assess sleep and eating times, lifestyle behaviours and dietary intake during school closure. Latent class analysis was performed to identify temporal patterns of sleep and eating based on self-reported clock times for wake-up, going to bed and eating meals. Lifestyle behaviours and dietary intake were compared between latent classes.
Forty-eight primary and secondary schools in Japan.
Totally, 6220 children (aged 8–15 years).
Four patterns, labelled ‘Very early (20 % of children)’, ‘Early (24 %)’, ‘Late (30 %)’ and ‘Very late (26 %),’ were identified and ordered according to the circadian timing. Latter patterns were characterised by later timings of sleep and eating, especially in clock times for wake-up, breakfast and lunch compared with earlier patterns. Children with latter patterns had a less physically active lifestyle, longer screen time (≥4 h/d), shorter study time (<2 h/d) and more frequent skipping of breakfast and lunch than those with earlier patterns. In addition, children with latter patterns had lower intakes of several vitamins, vegetables, fruits, fish and shellfish and dairy products and higher intakes of sugar and confectionaries and sweetened beverages.
More than half of the participants had later wake-up, breakfast and lunch during school closure, which was associated with more unfavourable lifestyles and dietary intakes.
Dietary supplements can be used to compensate for an inadequate diet. However, some studies indicate that supplement users consume healthier diets than non-users, although such data are lacking in Japanese children. The aim of the present study was to investigate the food and nutrient intake of dietary supplement users among school-aged children in Japan. A nationwide school dietary survey was conducted at fourteen elementary schools and thirteen junior high schools in twelve prefectures in Japan. Three-day non-consecutive semi-weighed dietary records were obtained on two weekdays and one weekend day. Analysis of covariance was performed to investigate differences in food and nutrient intake from meals consumed at school and outside of school between dietary supplement users and non-users, adjusted for socio-demographic and health-related characteristics. Of the 910 children included in this analysis, 80 (8⋅8 %) reported supplement use. Based on 3-d dietary records, dietary supplement users consumed higher mean amounts of oils and lower amounts of fruits and vegetables than non-users. In school lunches, users consumed significantly higher amounts of oils and lower amounts of protein than non-users. In meals consumed outside of school, dietary supplement users consumed significantly higher amounts of confectioneries and lower amounts of fruits and vegetables, folate, vitamin C and dietary fibre than non-users. Collectively, our findings indicate that dietary supplement users consumed less healthy diets than non-users. Additional studies are warranted to confirm these results and identify factors contributing to poorer dietary habits in supplement users.
A future sustainable dietary pattern for Japanese is yet undefined. This study aimed to explore more sustainable Japanese diets that are nutritious, affordable and with low greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and particular emphasis on cultural acceptability. A newly developed data envelopment analysis (DEA) diet model was applied to 4-d dietary record data among 184 healthy Japanese men and 185 women volunteers aged 21–69 years. Alternative diets were calculated as the linear combinations of observed diets. Firstly, for each individual, four modelled diets were calculated that maximised cultural acceptability (i.e. minimise dietary change from observed diet), maximised nutritional quality assessed by the Nutrient-Rich Food Index (NRF), minimised monetary diet costs or minimised diet-related GHGE. The final modelled diet combined all four indicators. In the first four models, the largest improvement was obtained for each targeted indicator separately, while relatively small improvements or unwanted changes were observed for other indicator. When all indicators were aimed to optimise, the NRF score and diet-related GHGE were improved by 8–13 % with the lower monetary cost than observed diets, although the percentage improvement was a bit smaller than the separate models. The final modelled diets demanded increased intakes for whole grains, fruits, milk/cream/yogurt, legumes/nuts, and decreased intakes for red and processed meat, sugar/confectioneries, alcoholic and sweetened beverages, and seasonings in both sexes. In conclusion, more sustainable dietary patterns considering several indicators are possible for Japanese, while total improvement is moderate due to trade-offs between indicators and methodological limitation of DEA diet model.
CyberKnife is the most advanced form of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) system that uses a robotic arm to deliver highly focused beams of radiation; however, a limitation is that it only irradiates from ceiling to floor direction. In patients with posterior lungs tumour who are positioned supine, normal lung tissue may suffer undesirable radiation injuries. This study compares the treatment planning between the prone set-up and the supine set-up for lung cancer in CyberKnife SBRT to decrease normal lung dose to avoid radiation side effects.
Materials and methods:
A human phantom was used to generate 108 plans (54 for prone and 54 for supine) using the CyberKnife planning platform. The supine and prone plans were compared in terms of the dosimetric characteristics, delivery efficiency and plan efficiency.
For posterior targets, the area of low-dose exposure to normal lungs was smaller in the prone set-up than in the supine set-up. V10 of the lungs was 7·53% and 10·47% (p < 0·001) in the anterior region, and 10·78% and 8·03% (p < 0·001) in the posterior region in the supine and prone set-up plans, respectively.
The comparison between the prone set-up and the supine set-up was investigated with regard to target coverage and dose to organs at risk. Our results may be deployed in CyberKnife treatment planning to monitor normal tissue dose by considering patient positioning. This may assist in the design of better treatment plans and prevention of symptomatic radiation pneumonitis in lung cancer patients.
The relationship of chronotype differences with dietary habits and health-related outcomes among elderly people is not fully understood, although sex and generation differences are observed in human chronotype. Accordingly, we analysed the association of chronotype (as assessed by the midpoint of sleep) with dietary intake and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in elderly Japanese women. The subjects in this cross-sectional study were 1618 women aged 65 years and older who were grandmothers or acquaintances of dietetics students. The subjects were classified into quintiles with respect to the midpoint of sleep, from the earliest to the latest quintile. HRQoL was assessed by the Japanese version of the short-form 36-item health survey score. Mental health was assessed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale. Dietary intake was assessed by a brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire. A later midpoint of sleep was associated with a lower intake of vitamin D and a higher intake of bread and caffeinated drinks. No correlations were observed between chronotype and other nutrient and food intake. The subjects with a late midpoint of sleep (eveningness) showed poor general health perception (GH) and high CES-D scores. Other HRQoL scores did not differ among groups with different midpoints of sleep. In conclusion, chronotype as assessed by the midpoint of sleep is associated with poor GH and depressive tendencies in elderly Japanese women. Additionally, a few associations were found between dietary intake and chronotype in elderly Japanese women.
Although there is growing evidence suggesting that eating patterns are important determinants of health status, comprehensive information on patterning of eating behaviours is almost lacking. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to describe eating patterns in Japan.
Information on actual eating behaviours was collected using 2-d dietary record in each season over a year (total 8 d). Eating occasions were defined as any discrete intake occasion (with a discrete start clock time and name) except for eating occasions consisting of water only, which were excluded.
A nationwide sample of 4032 Japanese aged 1–79 years.
The mean value of eating frequency of meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner), snacks and total eating occasions was 2·94, 1·74 and 4·68 times/d, respectively. The mean clock time for the start of breakfast, lunch and dinner was 07.24, 12.29 and 19.15 h, respectively. The mean time spent consuming breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks was 19, 25, 34 and 27 min/d, respectively. On average, variability (i.e. average of absolute difference from mean) of meal frequency was small compared with that of snack frequency and total eating frequency. Both mean variability of clock time for the start of eating (<1 h) and mean variability of time spent on meals (<10 min/d) were also small. Conversely, mean variability of time spent on snacks was large (>18 min/d).
The present findings serve as both a reference and an indication for future research on patterning of eating behaviours.
Intakes of excess Na and insufficient K are two major contributors of heart diseases and stroke development. However, no precise study has previously been carried out on Na and K intakes among Indonesian adults. The present study aimed to estimate the Na and K intakes using two consecutive 24-h urine collections. Participants were community-dwelling adults aged between 20 and 96 years, randomly selected from a pool of resident registration numbers. Of the 506 participants, 479 (240 men and 239 women) completed urine collections. The mean Na excretion was 102·8 and 100·6 mmol/d, while the mean K excretion was 25·0 and 23·4 mmol/d for men and women, respectively. Na and K excretions were higher in participants with a higher BMI. A higher K excretion was associated only with younger age. More than 80 % of the participants consumed more than 5 g/d of salt (the upper limit recommended by the Indonesian government), whereas none of them consumed more than 3510 mg/d of K (the lower limit). The high Na and low K intakes, especially high Na among participants with high BMI, should be considered when future intervention programmes are planned in this country.
To examine the association between the amount of time spent at childcare and diet quality in 668 Japanese children aged 1·5–6 years.
A cross-sectional design was used. Dietary information was collected using dietary records (1 d for children aged 1·5–2 years and 2 d for children aged 3–6 years). Diet quality was assessed by counting the number of nutrients not meeting the Japanese Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). Each child’s guardian reported the average amount of time spent at childcare per d for the previous 1 month.
In total, 315 childcare centres located in twenty-four areas in Japan.
In total, 753 children aged 1·5–6 years who attend childcare facilities.
After adjustment for potential confounders, OR for the low diet quality (≥ 5 of twenty nutrients not meeting DRI) in long (≥10 h/d) v. medium (8–10 h/d) childcare hours was 4·81 (95 % CI 1·96, 11·8) among children aged 5–6 years. There was no significant association in children aged 1·5–2 and 3–4 years.
This study showed that long time spent at childcare was strongly associated with low diet quality among children aged 5–6 years, but not those aged 1·5–2 and 3–4 years. More research is needed to clarify different associations in each age group.
FFQ, the primary method of dietary assessment in large-scale nutritional epidemiological studies, preclude an informed evaluation of the timing of dietary intake and meal-specific dietary intake. In this study, we developed the Meal-based Diet History Questionnaire (MDHQ), a self-administered questionnaire designed for estimating food and nutrient intakes for each meal type separately. The development was done based on a 16-d dietary record obtained from 242 Japanese adults. The MDHQ consisted of the three different parts, with a total of 196 items. Part 1 of the MDHQ asks about consumption frequency of generic food groups (n 24) for each meal type: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and night snack. Part 2 of the MDHQ asks about relative consumption frequency of sub-food groups within one of the generic food groups which are asked in Part 1. Combining information derived from Parts 1 and 2 enables us to increase the number of foods we can estimate efficiently but within a limited number of questions. Part 3 of the MDHQ asks about general eating behaviours, which are intended to use in a variety of ways during dietary intake calculation. A series of calculation algorithms for food groups, energy and nutrients was also prepared. Given that the MDHQ was empirically developed based on comprehensive information on actual food consumption, this innovative tool may be promising for future epidemiological research on meal patterns and time of day of dietary intake, or chrono-nutrition research. A rigorous evaluation of validity of the MDHQ is warranted.
To characterise different meal types by examining the contribution of specific meals to the total intakes and the nutritional quality of each meal.
A cross-sectional analysis was conducted based on dietary data collected using 4-d dietary record. Diet quality was assessed by the Healthy Eating Index-2015 and Nutrient-Rich Food Index 9.3.
Adults aged 20–81 years (n 639).
Diet quality was, on average, highest for dinner, followed, in order, by lunch, breakfast and snacks. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, on average, accounted for 21 %, 32 %, 40 % and 11 % of total energy intake, respectively. For many nutrients, the percentage contribution to total intake did not vary within each meal, broadly in line with that for energy: 18–24 % for breakfast, 26–35 % for lunch, 35–49 % for dinner and 4–15 % for snacks. However, intakes of many foods largely depended on one meal type. The foods mainly eaten at dinner were potatoes, pulses, total vegetables, fish, meat and alcoholic beverages (52–70 %), in contrast to noodles (58 %) at lunch and bread (71 %) and dairy products (50 %) at breakfast. The foods mainly eaten at snacks were confectioneries (79 %) and sugar-sweetened beverages (52 %). Conversely, rice and eggs were more evenly distributed across three main meals (19–41 % and 30–38 %, respectively), while fruit and non-energetic beverages were more evenly distributed across all meal types (17–30 % and 19–35 %, respectively).
These findings provide the background information on each meal type in Japanese and may help inform the development of meal-based guidelines and public health messages.
To summarise the existing evidence of development, validation and current status of utilisation of dish-based dietary assessment tools.
Systematic search using PubMed and Web of Science.
We identified twelve tools from seventy-four eligible publications. They were developed for Koreans (n 4), Bangladeshis (n 2), Iranians (n 1), Indians/Malays/Chinese (n 1), Japanese (n 3) and Chinese Americans (n 1). Most tools (10/12) were composed of a dish-based FFQ. Although the development process of a dish list varied among the tools, six studies classified mixed dishes based on the similarity of their characteristics such as food ingredients and cooking methods. Tools were validated against self-reported dietary information (n 9) and concentration biomarkers (n 1). In the eight studies assessing the differences between the tool and a reference, the mean (or median) intake of energy significantly differed in five studies, and 26–83 % of nutrients significantly differed in eight studies. Correlation coefficients for energy ranged from 0·15 to 0·87 across the thirteen studies, and the median correlation coefficients for nutrients ranged from 0·12 to 0·77. Dish-based dietary assessment tools were used in fifty-nine studies mainly to assess diet–disease relationships in target populations.
Dish-based dietary assessment tools have exclusively been developed and used for Asian-origin populations. Further validation studies, particularly biomarker-based studies, are needed to assess the applicability of tools.
Recent research supports the importance of PUFA intake in children, particularly of EPA and DHA; however, few verified methods to assess whether PUFA intake is adequate are available.
We assessed the correlation between serum PUFA and lipid concentrations with seafood and PUFA intake measured using a brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire for Japanese preschool children (BDHQ3y).
Single centre birth cohort in Japan.
A total of 152 36-month-old Japanese children.
Average dietary intake of daily seafood, EPA and DHA was 13·83 (sd 10·36) g, 49·4 (sd 43·5) mg and 98·3 (sd 64·6) mg, respectively. Significant weak-to-moderate correlations were observed between dietary intake and serum EPA (Spearman rho = 0·41, P < 0·001; Pearson r = 0·44, P < 0·001); DHA (Spearman rho = 0·40, P < 0·001; Pearson r = 0·42, P < 0·001) and AA (arachidonic acid) (Spearman rho = 0·33, P < 0·001; Pearson r = 0·32, P < 0·001), whereas no significant correlation was observed for dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) (Spearman rho = 0·06, P = 0·484; Pearson r = 0·07, P = 0·387). Correlations between seafood intake and serum EPA and DHA were also moderate (0·39–0·43). A negative correlation between serum TAGs and serum EPA, as well as positive correlations between serum cholesterol (total cholesterol, LDL and HDL) with serum EPA and DHA were observed, whereas no significant correlations between seafood intake and serum lipid profiles. Based on this model, we estimated 61–98 g/week of seafood intake is required to meet current EPA/DHA intake recommendations by the WHO (100–150 mg/d).
For children of 2–4 years of age, weekly intake of 61–98 g of seafood is required to meet WHO recommendations of EPA/DHA intake.
Epidemiological evidence on the association between eating frequency and overall diet quality does not represent a consistent picture. This cross-sectional study examined the associations of meal frequency and snack frequency with diet quality, using different definitions of meals and snacks. Based on 4-d weighed dietary record data obtained from 639 Japanese adults aged 20–81 years, all eating occasions were divided into meals or snacks based on either the participant-identified or time-of-day definitions. Diet quality was assessed by the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) and Nutrient-Rich Food Index 9.3 (NRF9.3). One additional meal per d increased the HEI-2015 total score by 3·6 and 1·3 points based on the participant-identified and time-of-day definitions, respectively. A higher meal frequency was also associated with higher values of some of the HEI-2015 component scores (total vegetables, greens and beans, and total protein foods), irrespective of how meals were defined. Additionally, one additional participant-identified snack per d increased the HEI-2015 total score by 0·7 points. The frequency of participant-identified snacks also showed positive associations with some of the HEI-2015 component scores (total fruits, whole fruits, total vegetables, greens and beans, dairy products, and Na). However, the frequency of time-of-day defined snacks was not associated with the total scores of HEI-2015, although there were some associations for its components. Similar findings were obtained when the NRF9.3 was used. In conclusion, higher meal frequency was consistently associated with higher diet quality, while associations between snack frequency and diet quality varied depending on the definition of snacks.
Many previous studies supported that shift of dietary choice is necessary to reduce environmental impact and achieve a healthy diet. However, inconsistent results have been shown for the association between the environmental impact of diet and its nutritional adequacy. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between environmental indicator including greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and energy use (EU) and diet quality using several diet quality scores among Japanese. Dietary data were obtained from a cross-sectional study including 392 healthy adults (196 women and 196 men, aged 20–69 y) living in 20 areas of 47 prefectures, in which four non-consecutive-day diet record was collected from February to March in 2013. Diet-related GHGE and EU were estimated using the Global Link Input-Output model. Diet quality was assessed with the adherence to the Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top (JFG score), its modified version (modified JFG score), Nutrient-rich Dietary index (NRD9.3.), the Mediterranean diet score (MDS) and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score. Participants were categorized into sex-specific tertiles according to energy-adjusted GHGE or EU then mixed for the analysis. Using the PROC GLM procedure, linear regression models were constructed to examine the association of environmental indicators with diet quality and intakes of foods and nutrition. Diet-related GHGE and EU were positively associated with NRF.9.3 score and MDS. Diet-related EU was also positively associated with DASH score. However, there was no significant association observed in either JFG score or the modified JFG score with both diet-related GHGE and EU. Diet-related GHGE and EU were both negatively associated with intakes of well-milled rice, fats and oils, and sugar-sweetened beverage, and positively associated with intakes of vegetables, mushroom, fish and seafood, tea and coffee and seasoning, protein, and several micronutrients. A positive association between GHGE or EU, and NRF.9.3 or MSD was seemed to be due to higher intake of vegetables, fish and seafood, meat, vitamin A, iron, potassium in high GHGE or EU group than low GHGE or EU group. The results suggested that achieving low GHGE or EU diet might not lead to higher nutritional quality among Japanese. On the other hand, it may be possible that diet quality scores used in this study could not appropriately evaluate nutritional adequacy of the diet for the Japanese population as previously suggested.
This cross-sectional study evaluated the dietary characteristics of snacks, the contribution of snacks to daily nutrient intake and the association of energy intake (EI) from snacks with the prevalence of nutritional inadequacy in Japanese nursery school children.
Foods and nutrients consumed in each eating occasion were assessed by 3-d dietary records. The prevalence of inadequate intake of twenty nutrients assessed by the age- and sex-specific reference values in the Japanese Dietary Reference Intakes was compared according to tertile categories of EI from snacks.
A multi-regional dietary survey based on nursery schools in Japan.
A total of 187 boys and 191 girls aged 3–6 years.
EI from snacks accounted for 19·5 % (sd 6·9) of total daily EI. Confectionaries accounted for the largest part of EI from snacks (35·3 %), followed by milk (19·5 %). Relative to their energy contribution, snacks accounted for a small proportion for all nutrients examined, except for free sugar, calcium, SFA and riboflavin. Although a higher EI from snacks was associated with favourable profiles for intakes of calcium, iron, thiamine and riboflavin, excessive intakes of free sugar and Na were more prevalent among children with a higher EI from snacks.
Although snacks are effective in meeting the requirement of some nutrients among Japanese nursery school children, snacks are generally not nutrient-dense and have an impact on excessive intake of some nutrients. There is hence room for improvement in food choices at snack time.