Food and Nutrient Intake in African American Children and Adolescents Aged 5 to 16 Years in Baltimore City

Fariba Kolahdooz, Jennie L. Butler, Karina Christiansen, Gregory B. Diette, Patrick N. Breysse, Nadia N. Hansel, Meredith C. McCormack, Tony Sheehy, Joel Gittelsohn, Sangita Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed to describe food and nutrient intake for low-income, urban African American children and adolescents, to highlight the need for further nutrition intervention programs and appropriate tools to address overweight and obesity. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using interviewer-administered single 24-hour dietary recalls. Participants were low-income African American boys and girls aged 5–16 years or their caregivers in Baltimore City. Frequency of food consumption and dietary intakes were analyzed by gender and age groups. Results: Eighty-one participants were included for analysis. Mean daily energy intakes exceeded Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) from 10% to 71% across all gender-age groups: 2304 kcal for children aged 5–8 years; 2429 kcal and 2732 kcal for boys and girls aged 9–13 years, respectively; and 3339 kcal and 2846 kcal for boys and girls aged 14–16 years, respectively. The most frequently reported consumed foods were sweetened drinks, chips, candies, and milk across all age groups. The majority of participants (79–100%) did not meet the DRIs for dietary fiber and vitamin E across all gender-age groups. Milk accounted for 14%, 17%, and 21% of energy, fat, and protein intake, respectively, among children 5–8 years of age, while pizza was the top source of energy, fat, and protein (11%, 13%, and 18%, respectively) among 14-to 16-year-old adolescents. Sweetened drinks and sweetened juices were major sources of sugar, contributing 33% for 5–8 year olds, 29% for 9–13 year olds, and 35% for 14–16 year olds. Conclusions: Mean daily energy intake exceeded dietary recommendations across all gender-age groups. This study has provided previously unavailable information on diet and highlights foods to be targeted in nutrition intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • African American
  • children
  • dietary assessment
  • youth food frequency questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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