Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/9435
Greater dietary variety is associated with better biochemical nutritional status in Spanish children: the Four Provinces Study
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2003 Dec;13(6):357-64.
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Although dietary variety has been associated with a better nutritional profile, its possible role in obesity raises doubts about its overall health benefits. In this study, we examined the association between dietary variety and anthropometric variables, food intake and various food intake biomarkers in Spanish children. METHODS AND RESULTS: This was a cross-sectional study of 1112 children aged 6-7 years from Cadiz, Murcia, Orense and Madrid, who were selected by means of the random cluster-sampling of schools. Information concerning food and nutrient intake was obtained using a food frequency questionnaire, and a dietary variety index (DVI) was calculated on the basis of the number of different foods consumed more than once a month. The anthropometric variables (weight and height), and plasma lipid and vitamin levels were determined using standardised methods. Our results show that the body mass index (BMI) did not vary substantially as a function of DVI: it was 16.9 in the lowest DVI tertile and 17.2 in the highest (p=0.20). Unlike BMI, the DVI positively correlated (p<0.05) with the plasma levels of alpha and beta-carotene, lycopene, retinol, alpha-tocopherol and vitamin E, with energy intake, and with most of the foods, particularly vegetables, fruit and sausages (respective correlation coefficients of 0.43, 0.26 and 0.23). CONCLUSIONS: Dietary variety is associated with a better food and nutritional profile in Spanish children. Nevertheless, the presence of a positive association between the DVI and energy intake, and the consumption of sausages and pre-cooked products calls for the recommendation of a varied diet of healthy foods, such as cereals (especially whole grains), fruits and vegetables.
Biomarkers | Body Height | Body Weight | Child | Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena | Cluster Analysis | Cross-Sectional Studies | Diet | Energy Intake | Female | Humans | Lipids | Male | Nutrition Surveys | Spain | Surveys and Questionnaires | Feeding Behavior | Nutritional Status | Vitamins