Background: Many components are involved in an assessment of diet and health among youth. To address these issues and document the major contributions of fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to the diet, we analyzed baseline cross-sectional data from a cohort of 16,882 youth.
Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on the Growing Up Today Study dietary data reported by 16,882 9- to 14-year-olds in 1996. The adolescent food frequency questionnaire was used to assess this age group's eating habits. Arithmetic means and standard deviations were calculated on energy-adjusted and unadjusted data.
Results: Mean intake (including vitamin/mineral supplementation) for all nutrients met 100% of the RDAs, except calcium for girls. Comparing the servings of foods with the USDA Food Pyramid, neither boys nor girls met recommended number of servings except for dairy. Overweight participants consumed fewer kilocalories and lower levels of nutrients than their nonoverweight peers.
Conclusion: These cross-sectional data from 1996 indicate that this cohort is consuming foods and nutrients comparable with national data of less fat and more carbohydrates in their diet. Overweight participants have similar dietary patterns except for total energy. The cohort's diet (with vitamin/mineral supplementation) is meeting the RDAs, but actual foods consumed suggest a lack of balance in the diet.
Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.