October 20, 2008
Results of the Kids Eat Kids Play Survey
The Kids Eat Kids Play Survey, as outlined in a previous post, looked at the food and nutrient intake, height, weight and waist circumference of over 4000 children across Australia between the ages of 2-16 years. It also looked at the physical activity patterns of children aged 5-16 years.
The survey found that children ate a wide variety of foods ( cereals, fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, drinks, snacks and confectionary). Younger children 2-3 years generally ate more fruits but less vegetables than older children and had higher milk intakes. Over 45 % of younger childrens energy came from milk and cereal foods. The majority of children in all age groups met the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for protein and vitamins ( C, niacin, B1,B2). Young children met their requirements for minerals but in older children calcium and magnesium were at risk. The intake of sodium for all children exceeded the recommended upper level of intake. In younger children more energy came from sugars ( 25-26%) than starches (23%) but this changed in the older groups. The dietary guidelines recommend that no more than 20% of energy comes from sugars.
Most children (72%) were a healthy weight for their height with 5% underweight, 17% overweight and 6% obese. For children 2-3 years, 74% were of normal weight, 5% underweight, 17% overweight and 4% obese. Children 2-3 years who were overweight and obese reported higher energy intakes than those who were of normal weight. However, in children aged 4 years and older the overweight and obese children reported less energy intakes than normal weight children. Underweight and obese children did less physical activity than normal weight children but no association was found between energy intake and physical activity.
The full report is available from www.health.gov.au/nutritionmonitoring
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