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The Diets of America's Children: Influences of Dining Out, Household Characteristics, and Nutrition Knowledge

by Biing-Hwan Lin, Joanne Guthrie, and James R. Blaylock

Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-746) 48 pp, December 1996

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Recent USDA surveys point out several shortcomings in children's diets. The share of calories from total and saturated fat averaged 4 and 3 percentage points above the recommendations. The sodium intake averaged 23 percent above the 2,400 milligrams recommended by some authorities. These dietary problems start early in childhood and continue into adulthood. Additionally, only a small fraction of female adolescents met the recommended intakes for calcium, fiber, and iron. Compared with home foods, away-from-home foods were higher in total and saturated fat and lower in cholesterol, fiber, calcium, iron, and sodium. With increasing popularity in dining out, efforts to improve children's diets may need strengthening.

Keywords: Children's diets, food away from home, diet and health knowledge, household characteristics

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Last updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

For more information contact: Biing-Hwan Lin, Joanne Guthrie, and James R. Blaylock

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