Reducing the energy density of multiple meals decreases the energy intake of preschool-age children1,2,3

Leahy, Kathleen E., Birch, Leann L. and Rolls, Barbara J. 2008, Reducing the energy density of multiple meals decreases the energy intake of preschool-age children1,2,3, American journal of clinical nutrition, vol. 88, no. 6, pp. 1459-1468.

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Title Reducing the energy density of multiple meals decreases the energy intake of preschool-age children1,2,3
Author(s) Leahy, Kathleen E.ORCID iD for Leahy, Kathleen E.
Birch, Leann L.
Rolls, Barbara J.
Journal name American journal of clinical nutrition
Volume number 88
Issue number 6
Start page 1459
End page 1468
Total pages 10
Publisher American Society for Nutrition
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2008-12
ISSN 0002-9165
Summary Background: The energy density (ED) of an entrée affects children's energy intake at a meal consumed ad libitum. However, the effects in children of changing the ED of meals over multiple days are unknown.

We aimed to test the effect of reducing the ED of multiple meals on the ad libitum energy intake of preschool-age children over 2 d.

Design: In this crossover study, 3- to 5-y-old children (n = 10 boys, 16 girls) were served manipulated breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon snacks 2 d/wk for 2 wk. Foods and beverages served at these meals during 1 wk were lower in ED than were those served during the other week. ED reductions were achieved by decreasing fat and sugar and by increasing fruit and vegetables. Dinner and an evening snack were sent home with children, but these meals did not vary in ED. The same 2-d menu was served in both conditions.

Children consumed a consistent weight of foods and beverages over 2 d in both conditions, and therefore their energy consumption declined by 389 ± 72 kcal (14%) in the lower-ED condition, a significant decrease (P < 0.0001). Differences in energy intake were significant at breakfast on day 1, and they accumulated at manipulated meals over 2 d (P < 0.01). Intake of the nonmanipulated meals was similar between conditions.

Children's energy intake is influenced by the ED of foods and beverages served over multiple days. These results strengthen the evidence that reducing the ED of the diet is an effective strategy for moderating children's energy intake.
Language eng
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, American Society for Nutrition
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research
Population Health
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