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    Calorie intake of preschool children reduced by 389 calories per day by reducing calorie density

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:59 am Email this article
    The calorie intake of children 3- to -5 years-old was reduced 389 calories per day, or 14 percent, by reducing the calorie density of breakfast, lunch and their afternoon snack according to a new study from Barbara Rolls and others at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.

    "Children consumed a consistent weight of foods and beverages over 2 days in both conditions," the authors noted, thus their calorie intake was reduced.

    Barbara Rolls has done a number of studies showing that reducing the calorie density of food reduces calorie intake. Subjects

    Subjects: 10 boys, 16 girls

    The study involved 10 boys and 16 girls, 3- to 5-years-old.

    Two days a week for two weeks, the children were served “manipulated breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon snacks”.

    The calorie density of the meals was lower during the first week and the second week.

    “[Energy density] reductions were achieved by decreasing fat and sugar and by increasing fruit and vegetables,” the paper notes.

    “Dinner and an evening snack were sent home with children, but these meals did not vary in [energy density].

    “The same 2-day menu was served in both conditions.”



    Conclusion: Calorie intake is affected by the calorie density of meals

    “Children’s energy intake is influenced by the [energy density] of foods and beverages served over multiple days,” the authors concluded.

    “These results strengthen the evidence that reducing the [energy density] of the diet is an effective strategy for moderating children’s energy intake.”


    Leahy K, Birch L, Rolls B. Reducing the energy density of multiple meals decreases the energy intake of preschool-age children. AJCN. 2008 Dec, 88(6):1459-68.


    Barabara J. Rolls
    Pennsylvania State University
    226 Henderson Building
    University Park, PA 16802-6501 USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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