Snack foods consumption contributes to poor nutrition of rural children in West Java, Indonesia
Makiko Sekiyama PhD, Katrin Roosita M.A., Ryutaro Ohtsuka PhD
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2012;21 (4):558-567
Dietary habits of children, including snack foods consumption, in developing countries have seldom been investigated in relation to their nutrition and health. To assess the effects of snack foods consumption of 154 children aged 1-12 years in a rural village of West Java, Indonesia, a 3-hour-interval food recall survey for all meals and snack foods consumed in seven consecutive days for each subject, anthropometry, and interviews for sociodemographic indicators were conducted. Their overall prevalence of stunting and underweight was 69.5% and 35.7%. There were 221 foods consumed by the subjects, among which 68 foods were categorized as snack foods. Though the children of both <7 year and ≥7 year age groups consumed snack foods similarly throughout the day, the latter group only consumed larger amounts of energy from snack foods at school recess-times. The mean percent contribution of snack foods was 59.6% for fat, 40.0% for energy, 20.6% for calcium, and <10% for vitamins
A and C. Half number of the subjects who snacked more than the median amount consumed less carbohydrate and vitamin C than the remaining half. Furthermore, the more snack-consuming group the lower z score for
height-for-age (HAZ) among schoolchildren. To improve this nutritionally vulnerable situation, consumption of snack foods should be replaced by the non-snack foods which contain much higher nutrient density, i.e., 15 times
for calcium and 32 times for vitamin A. Moreover, considering high snack foods consumption of ≥7 y age group at school, appropriate school nutrition programs should be promoted.
Full Paper: Makiko_Katrin_Ohstsuka_APJCN