Food Group Intake and Cardiometabolic Risk in Hispanic Children

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Background: A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and proteins is known to have multiple beneficial health effects. However, a very limited number of studies have characterized food group intake and its association with cardiometabolic risk factors in Hispanic children. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to 1) assess food group intake in a sample of Hispanic children; and 2) examine the association between food group intake and overweight and elevated blood pressure in the same population. Methods: Data came from a pilot study of metabolic syndrome in Hispanic children. The study sample consisted of 116 2-to-10-year-old children receiving well-child care at a community health center in Johnson City, TN, from June 2015 to June 2016. Blood pressure, height and weight were measured using standard protocols. Food group intake was ascertained using the Block Kids Food Screener, a validated instrument. Child’s age, sex, and mother’s educational attainment were included as covariates. Binomial test of proportions was used to compare the study sample with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) gender-age group proportions not meeting recommended daily food group intake. Two sample t-test was used to examine differences in mean food intake by outcome variables of elevated blood pressure (>=90th percentile for age and sex) and being overweight (>85th percentile of the 2000 CDC growth charts). Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between food group intake and elevated blood pressure and being overweight while accounting for child's sex, age, and mother's educational attainment. Results: Hispanic children exceeded minimum fruit and legume national recommendations. Compared with the corresponding NHANES gender-age groups, a larger proportion of the sample met legume recommendations. However, similar proportions met fruit, vegetable, wholegrain, fiber and dairy recommendations. Children with elevated blood pressure ate less fruits, vegetables, and legumes than children with normal blood pressure. Legume intake (OR: 0.052, 95% CI: 0.04-0.64), dairy intake (OR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.37-0.99), and fiber intake (OR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.81-0.96) were protective against elevated blood pressure. In contrast, only fruit intake was protective against overweight (OR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.87-0.99). Conclusion: Public health nutrition programs aimed at reducing the prevalence of overweight and elevated blood pressure in Hispanic children should consider supporting the intake of legumes, dairy, and fiber (for decreasing elevated blood pressure), and fruits (for reducing overweight).


San Diego, CA

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