Weekday snacking prevalence, frequency, and energy contribution have increased while foods consumed during snacking have shifted among Australian children and adolescents: 1995, 2007 and 2011-12 National Nutrition Surveys

Flávia Fayet-Moore*, Véronique Peters, Andrew McConnell, Peter Petocz, Alison L. Eldridge

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Background: There are limited data on the evolution of eating habits, including snacking, in Australia. This study aimed to understand snacking trends among Australian children over three previous National Nutrition Surveys. Methods: Data were analysed from a single weekday 24-h recall in the National Nutrition Surveys 1995, 2007, 2011-12 among children 2-16y (n = 8258). A snacking occasion was defined as an eating occasion that occurred between meals based on time of day. Results: The percentage of children snacking increased over time (92.5 ± 0.5(SE) % in 1995, 98.1 ± 0.3% in 2007, and 95.8 ± 0.4% in 2011-12) (P < 0.001), particularly among those having four or more snacking occasions (7.1 ± 0.5% in 1995, 17.9 ± 0.6% in 2007, and 18.5 ± 0.8% in 2011-2) (P < 0.001). The mean number of snacking occasions increased from 2.0 ± 0.0 in 1995, to 2.5 ± 0.0 in 2007 and 2011-12 (P < 0.001). The energy contribution from snacking increased from 24.1 ± 0.3% in 1995 to 27.7 ± 0.3% in 2007 and 30.5 ± 0.4% in 2011-12 (P < 0.001), while the energy from discretionary food during snacking decreased from 56.5 ± 0.7% in 1995 to 47.3 ± 0.5% in 2007 and 47.9 ± 0.7% in 2011-12 (P < 0.001). There were differences in the top foods consumed during snacking: non-alcoholic beverages were prominent contributors in 1995 but not in 2007 or 2011, and pome fruit was the second top energy contributor during snacking in 2007 and 2011 but only fourth in 1995. Conclusions: Snacking is a prominent dietary pattern that has increased over time in frequency and energy contribution. Foods and beverages consumed during snacking occasions include a mix of core foods and discretionary foods, and while the contribution of discretionary foods has decreased, there is still an opportunity to encourage consumption of more nutrient dense foods during snacking.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number65
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalNutrition Journal
    Volume16
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2017 The Author(s). Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Keywords

    • Dietary pattern
    • Nutrition survey
    • Snack
    • Snacking
    • Trends

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