Study: preschoolers’ calorie intake down in last decade

A new study by Christopher Ford, doctoral candidate in nutrition epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and research assistant with the UNCFRP evaluated beverage trends of U.S. preschool children over a 10 year period between 2003-2012. The study noted that among U.S. preschoolers, total caloric intake fell by 132 calories per day, with intake of beverages falling by 55 calories per day between 2003 and 2012. Major contributors to the decline in calories were declines in sugar-sweetened beverages (including soft drinks and juice drinks) and higher-fat milk.

These changes in preschoolers’ intake suggest progress, however the authors encourage caution as the study also found some possible evidence of  the trend changing, and calorie consumption increasing between 2009-2012, although these changes were not statistically significant. The authors suggest further studies with more recent dietary changes, as data become available.

Read the full study (here as a PDF), titled “Ten-year beverage intake trends among US preschool children: rapid declines between 2003 and 2010 but stagnancy in recent years” from the journal Pediatric Obesity.

Read more from the Gillings School of Public Health feature on this research here.