Daily routines may influence children and adolescents’ eating patterns, however the influence of days of the week on dietary intake has rarely been explored. This study aimed to examine discretionary choices intake in the context of diet quality on weekdays versus weekends. A secondary analysis was conducted using the Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey 2011–2012. Differences in discretionary choices intake and diet quality on weekdays versus weekends, were examined using ANCOVA analyses. Associations between child and parent-proxy characteristics and weekday/weekend discretionary choices intake were examined using multivariable regression models. Primary analyses included 2584 Australian 2–17-year-olds. There were small differences in discretionary choices intake and diet quality between weekdays and weekends in all age subgroups. Compared to weekdays, intakes on weekends were characterized by a higher intake of discretionary choices, and lower total Dietary Guidelines Index for Children and Adolescents (DGI-CA) scores across the age subgroups (all p < 0.01). Parent-proxy discretionary choices intake and child age were predictors of weekday and weekend discretionary choices intake. Parent-proxy obesity weight status compared with healthy weight status was a predictor of weekend intake, while parent-proxy education level was a predictor of weekday discretionary choices intake. Future intervention strategies should target discretionary choices intake on both weekdays and weekends.
- Diet quality
- Discretionary choices
- Energy-dense nutrient-poor foods