Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Medicine and Health Sciences
The aim of the study was to identify dietary patterns (DP) and examine differences in anthropometric measures, blood pressure (BP), cardiorespiratory fitness and nutritional knowledge of 6- and 10-year-old children at baseline and following a nutrition and physical activity intervention, with respect to DP and treatment group. This is a longitudinal study. Food diary, nutritional knowledge questionnaire and 550-m walk/run test measured dietary intake, nutritional knowledge and cardiorespiratory fitness, respectively. BP, weight, height and waist circumference were also measured and BMI and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were derived. All measurements were performed at baseline and following intervention. Two primary schools (one intervention, one control) in Cork, Ireland, were selected. Participants were 6- (n 39, age 5·9 (sd 0·6) years) and 10- (n 49, age 9·8 (sd 0·5) years)-year-olds. Two DP were identified, using k-means cluster analysis, for both 6- (unhealthy and nutrient-dense) and 10-year-olds (processed and Western diet) at baseline. DP derived post-intervention were (1) plant-based and (2) processed foods for 6-year-olds and (1) nutrient-dense and (2) unhealthy for 10-year-olds. There was no statistically significant difference in DP for 6- and 10-year-olds at baseline and post-intervention (P > 0·05). Following the intervention, a multivariate ANOVA showed there were no statistically significant differences in nutritional knowledge, BMI, WHtR, cardiorespiratory fitness and BP based on DP and intervention/control group for both age groups (P > 0·05). Three out of four dietary patterns identified for 6- and 10-year-olds were unfavourable. While no statistically significant evidence of intervention impact was found on DP, a positive trend was emerging among 10-year-olds.
Merrotsy, A., McCarthy, A. L., Lacey, S. and Coppinger, T. (2020) “Identifying dietary patterns in Irish schoolchildren and their association with nutritional knowledge and markers of health before and after intervention,” British Journal of Nutrition. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520004043.