Scores on the dietary guideline index for children and adolescents are associated with nutrient intake and socio-economic position but not adiposity

Rebecca K. Golley, Gilly A. Hendrie, Sarah A. McNaughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diet quality indices reflect overall dietary patterns better than single nutrients or food groups. The study aims were to develop a measure of adherence with dietary guidelines applicable to child and adolescent populations in Australia and determine the association between index scores and food and nutrient intake, socio-demographic characteristics, and measures of adiposity. Data were analyzed from 4- to 16-y-old participants of the 2007 Australian Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (n = 3416). The Dietary Guideline Index for Children and Adolescents (DGI-CA) comprises 11 components: 5 core food groups, wholegrain bread, reduced-fat dairy foods, extra foods (nutrient poor and high in fat, salt, and added sugar), healthy fats/oils, water, and diet variety (possible score of 100). The index criteria were age specific. The mean DGI-CA score was low (53.6 ± 0.4), similar between boys and girls, and differed by age; the youngest children scored higher than the oldest children (P<, 0.0001). Higher DGI-CA scores were associated with lower energy intake, energy density, total and saturated fat, and sugar intake; higher protein, carbohydrate, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and iodine intakes; and a higher polyunsaturated:saturated fat ratio (P<, 0.0001). DGI-CA scores were associated with socio-economic characteristics and measures of family circumstance. Weak positive associations were observed between DGI-CA score and BMI or waist circumference Z-scores in the 4- to 10-y and 12- to 16-y age groups only. This index is the first validated index in Australia and one of the few international indices to describe the diet quality of children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1340-1347
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume141
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

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