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Keywords:

  • children;
  • dairy products;
  • energy intake;
  • food intake;
  • nutrient intake;
  • secular trends

Abstract

Background

There is lack of data in Greece on the trends in energy and nutrient intake. The present study aimed to examine differences in these parameters among first-grade children of Crete, Greece, between 1992/93 and 2006/07.

Methods

Children (aged 5.7–7.6 years) from two-representative cross-sectional samples participated during 1992/93 (n = 245) and 2006/07 (n = 257). Nutrient and food intakes were assessed using estimated 3-day-food records. Nutrient intakes were estimated as amounts per 4185 kJ (1000 kcal) of energy intake (EI), whereas macronutrients were estimated as percentage of total EI.

Results

Between 1992/93 and 2006/07, respectively, significant increases (< 0.05) were observed in the intake of energy (boys: 7996 versus 8646 kJ; girls: 7265 versus 7963 kJ), calcium (boys: 488 versus 587 mg; girls: 464 versus 594 mg), iron (boys: 5.8 versus 7.3 mg; girls: 5.7 versus 7.4 mg) and vitamins B2 (boys: 1.01 versus 1.17 mg; girls: 1.0 versus 1.16 mg) and B6 (boys: 0.80 versus 0.87 mg; girls: 0.75 versus 0.95 mg), for boys and girls, respectively. Among boys, the intake of protein (13.6 versus 14.6% of EI) and total trans fatty acids (TTFA) (0.84 versus 0.99 g) was also significantly lower in 1992/93 (< 0.016). Between 1992/93 and 2006/07, total fat (boys: 42.9% versus 42.8%, girls: 42% versus 43.1%) and saturated fat (boys: 15.5% versus 15.4%, girls: 15% versus 15.3%) exceeded the 30–35% and <10% dietary recommendations, respectively, A significantly higher proportion of children in 2006/07, compared to 1992/93, had a higher intake of total energy (>120% of the recommended energy allowance).

Conclusions

The intake of several macronutrients (protein, TTFA, total and saturated fat) in this sample of children did not meet the recommended intakes in either time period.