Dietary studies of children: the Bogalusa Heart Study experience

J Am Diet Assoc. 1995 Oct;95(10):1127-33. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(95)00305-3.


For more than 20 years the Bogalusa Heart Study has been collecting data on children's dietary intakes in a biracial community. The macronutrient contribution of children's diets is similar to that in diets of adolescents: 13% of energy from protein, 49% from carbohydrate, and 38% from fat. As children get older, mean intakes of vitamins and minerals per 1,000 kcal decrease. Ten-year-old children in 1987-1988 were 3 lb heavier than 10-year-olds in 1973-1974. Yet total energy intakes remained virtually the same from 1973 to 1988. The composition of macronutrients shifted over the 15-year period, with an increase in the percentage of energy from protein and carbohydrate and a decrease in the percentage of energy from total fat, particularly saturated fat. Dietary cholesterol intake also decreased as a result of a decrease in egg consumption. Although the diets of children changed positively from 1973 to 1988, more than 75% of children consumed more total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than the recommended amounts. School meals had a major impact on the diets of children. School breakfast and lunch, together, contributed approximately 50% of the day's total intake of energy, protein, cholesterol, carbohydrate, and sodium. About 40% of daily total fat intake came from school breakfast and lunch. The diets of children in the Bogalusa study are similar to those reported in national studies of children. What might be different, however, are the types of foods consumed and their contribution to intakes of specific nutrients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans*
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cohort Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Diet / standards*
  • Diet / trends
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Services / standards
  • Humans
  • Louisiana
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Schools
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Vitamins