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Energy intake variability in free-living young children
  1. Susan Bjerregaard Nielsen (s.nielsen.1{at}research.gla.ac.uk)
  1. University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
    1. Colette Montgomery
    1. University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
      1. Louise A Kelly
      1. University of Southern California, United States
        1. Diane M Jackson
        1. Rowett Research Institute, United Kingdom
          1. John J Reilly
          1. University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

            Abstract

            It has been suggested that young children regulate their daily energy intake very closely with highly stable day-to-day total energy intake. This hypothesis was developed on the basis of an experimental study of 15 children aged 26 to 62 months, which reported a within-subject coefficient of variation (CV) in daily energy intake of 10.4%.

            We tested the hypothesis that free-living energy intakes were highly stable on a day-to-day basis in a sample of free-living young children from Glasgow, Scotland. In 101 children (47 boys) aged 2.6-6.8 years, energy intake was measured using multiple-pass 24-hour recalls. Within-subject CV was 19.2% which was significantly higher than the 10.4% reported by Birch and colleagues (p<0.0001). In addition, we identified four other studies on free-living children with within-subject CV's ranging from 16.1-28.7%. This evidence indicates that young children show a wide intra-individual variation in day-to-day regulation of energy intake in a free-living environment.

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