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School Breakfast Program Intake of Selected Nutrients in Relationship to 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans in Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders
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Background: A child's diet has a direct impact on the risk for several chronic diseases including obesity, certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. School meal programs, such as the School Breakfast Program (SBP), are in a unique position to influence a child's health. Some children consume at least 35% of their total daily nutrient intake from school meals. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate elementary students' SBP intake of fiber, cholesterol, total fat, and saturated fat contribution to the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Methods: This was a cross-sectional study assessing third, fourth, and fifth grade students' SBP consumption during the 2011-2012 school year. Data was collected for eight to 11 days at three Washoe County School District elementary schools. SBP intake was evaluated using the Spears Point of Sale Dietary Assessment Tool (Spears POS-DAT). ANOVA and independent t-tests were computed for age, sex, gender and race/ethnicity. Results: Mean difference of intakes contributing to the 2010 DGA revealed: 1) race/ethnicity groups significantly differed with mean differences statistically similar between Hispanic children compared to children of other races except for cholesterol; whereas, White children mean differences compared to Hispanic children and children of other races /ethnicities (Asian, Native American Indian and African American) were statistically higher contrasted to Hispanic children and children of other races for kilocalories and all evaluated nutrients except for cholesterol, and; 2) weight status groups significantly differed between BMI status (under/normal, overweight, and obese) with the greatest negative mean differences between under/ normal weight compared to obese; 3) age groups mean differences were significantly greater when contrasting older students (11 and 12 year olds) to younger eight and nine year olds and to 10 year olds with the greatest mean differences observed between 11 and 12 year olds and eight and nine year olds. No significant difference was seen between 10 year olds and eight and nine year olds; and 4) male mean differences were significantly higher than females for kilocalories and all nutrients except cholesterol. Conclusion: There was a significant difference among SBP intake contributing to the 2010 DGA and student characteristics. Future studies should obtain a participant entire day's intake and activity level for more detailed analysis of SBP intake contribution to meeting the 2010 DGA. Study results could potentially aid nutrition professionals in the selection of school breakfast items that may increase SBP contribution towards achieving the 2010 DGA.