Diet Quality of US Infants and Toddlers 7-24 Months Old in the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2
By Au L, Gurzo K, Paolicelli C, Whaley S, Weinfield N, Ritchie L
Background: Despite the important implications of childhood dietary intakes on lifelong eating habits and health, data are lacking on the diet quality of low-income infants and toddlers.
Objective: The objective of this study was to characterize diet quality in low-income US infants and toddlers.
Methods: A national observational study was conducted of 7- to 12-mo-old (n = 1261), 13-mo-old (n = 2515), and 24-mo-old (n = 2179) children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) prenatally/at birth from 2013 to 2016. The study used a 24-h dietary recall and survey questions. For 7- to 12-mo-olds, an adapted Complementary Feeding Utility Index (CFUI) was used, and for 13- and 24-mo-olds, the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) was used. Descriptive statistics were calculated for CFUI and HEI-2015 scores.
Results: For 7- to 12-mo-olds, the CFUI score (mean ± SE) was 0.56 ± 0.003 (range: 0.34–0.90, maximum possible 1.0). Most children met CFUI standards for exposure to iron-rich cereal (86.7%), and low exposure to energy-dense nutrient-poor foods (72.2%) and teas/broths (67.5%). Conversely, at 7–12 mo of age, exposure was low for vegetables (7.0%), fruits (14.4%), any sugary drinks (14.0%), and 12-mo breastfeeding duration (23.8%). At 13 and 24 mo of age, the HEI-2015 total score (maximum possible 100), on average, was 64.0. At both 13 and 24 mo of age, participants achieved, on average, maximal HEI-2015 component scores for total and whole fruits and dairy; however, scores for total vegetables, greens and beans, whole grains, seafood and plant proteins, fatty acids, and saturated fats were relatively low. Scores for refined grains, sodium, and added sugar were lower at 24 than at 13 mo of age, representing higher consumption, on average, over time.
Conclusions: Although findings demonstrate that young children are doing well on some dietary components, there is room for improvement, especially as children age. Findings may be used to inform the Pregnancy and Birth to 24-mo (P/B-24) Project.
This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02031978.
February 10, 2019
Au L, Gurzo K, Paolicelli C, Whaley S, Weinfield N, Ritchie L (2018) Diet Quality of US Infants and Toddlers 7-24 Months Old in the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2. The Journal of Nutrition: Vol. 148, Issue 11, pp 1786–1793. Available online: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/148/11/1786/5153341?redirectedFrom=fulltext