EAT5 Drinks - An investigation into the drink intake of five-year old children living in New Zealand
Background: Children’s drink intake has been assessed in a number of international studies, and frequency of consumption of drinks has been assessed in several New Zealand surveys, the most recent being the 2002 Child Nutrition Survey and 2007 New Zealand Children’s Food and Drinks Survey. However the volume of children’s drink intake has not been reported in New Zealand in national surveys. The quantity of drinks consumed is important, as drinks are an integral part of a child’s diet, providing hydration, nutrients and energy.Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the types and amounts of drinks being consumed by 65 five-year old New Zealand children, their contribution to energy and nutrient intake, and the extent to which they meet New Zealand Ministry of Health recommendations.Design: Data was used from two previous EAT5 component studies, in addition to data that the candidate has collected (total n=65). A total of 65 children aged 5 years old attended two clinic visits one month apart with their parent. During the first appointment anthropometric measurements were taken, an FFQ administered and a three-day weighed diet record was handed out with instructions. At the second appointment the same FFQ was administered and the weighed diet record was collected. Data from the weighed diet records were analysed using Kai-culator (dietary software) to calculate energy, nutrients and the contribution of drinks in the diet.Results: Only two children (3%) in the study met the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health recommendation of 1200mL from drinks per day for five-year olds. No child in the EAT5 study consumed the New Zealand Ministry of Health recommended maximum of 500mL of milk per day. Overall drinks contributed a small amount of daily energy intake (6%), but a substantial percentage of daily nutrient intake, in particular calcium (21%). There was a relatively high percentage of five-year olds consuming drinks that are not recommended (63%), the majority being flavoured milk. However, these drinks were only consumed in relatively low amounts, or not consumed daily, and thus contributed relatively little to overall energy intake.Conclusion: In conclusion, this study has shown that drinks are an integral component of a five-year olds diet, providing a small proportion of daily energy intake, but a substantial proportion of daily calcium intake. Public awareness of the negative nutritional implications of flavoured milk is needed, and these drinks should be included as a drink to limit in the Ministry of Health public resource ‘Eating for Healthy Children Aged 2 to 12 years’ as flavoured milks were consumed by a high proportion of children but are currently not included in this resource. Daily fluid intake from drinks was low, so future investigation into the hydration status of New Zealand children may be warranted.
Advisor: Heath, Anne-Louise; Taylor, Rachael
Degree Name: Master of Dietetics
Degree Discipline: Human Nutrition
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand; Drink; Calcium; Water; Milk; Sugar-sweetened beverages; Food frequency questionnaire; Weighed diet record
Research Type: Thesis