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Differences in snack intake among overweight and normal weight children

Marsha Green, MS-MPH, RD, Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, 229 West Cumberland Ave., JHB, Room 229, Knoxville, TN 37996-1920, 865-974-6265, mgreen$@utk.edu

As the prevalence rate of childhood overweight continues to increase, there is growing concern about the impact of children’s snacking patterns on their weight status. Baseline data from Youth Can! Improve Their Diets for Heart Health, a school-based intervention in a rural East Tennessee county, was used to test if there were differences in mean total gram weight, calories, grams of sucrose, fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, sodium, and percent dietary fat from total calories from snacks at home, school, and other places among students with a BMI >85th percentile and students with a BMI<85th percentile. In addition to height and weight data, a one-day 24-hour dietary recall was collected from 136 fourth grade students during October and November 2003. The results showed that students with a BMI>85th percentile consumed a significantly greater mean total gram amount of snacks at school (287.4 g) compared to the mean total gram amount (184.4 g) of snacks at school consumed by students with a BMI <85th percentile. However the results showed no significant difference in calories from snacks at school between the two groups. The results demonstrated that students with a BMI>85th percentile consumed larger portion sizes of snacks at school, but this did not result in a significant increase in mean caloric intake. Further investigation is needed to determine the types of snacks consumed at school among both groups of students and if differences in portion sizes exist at mealtime as well.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Nutrition, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Environmental Factors and Obesity

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA