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||20-Year trends in dietary and meal behaviors were similar in U.S. children and adolescents of different race/ethnicity.
||Kant AK, Graubard BI
||Recent survey data reveal persistent race/ethnic disparities in prevalence of adiposity in U.S. children and adolescents. We examined race/ethnic differentials in time trends in dietary behaviors of Americans 2-19 y of age to understand if these trends track those observed for body weight. We used dietary data from the NHANES 1988-1994, 1999-2002, and 2003-2008 (n = 24,131) to examine changes in reported energy intake, amount of foods and beverages, number of eating occasions, and percent of energy from foods and beverages, among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Mexican American 2-19 y olds. Multivariable regression analyses appropriate for complex surveys were used to examine these associations. The secular increase in mean number of eating occasions was significant (P-trend < 0.0001) in all age and race/ethnic groups; however, a corresponding increase in the amount of foods and beverages, or total energy intake was not observed. In non-Hispanic black and Mexican American 2-5 and 12-19 y olds, the secular increase in number of eating occasions, and in non-Hispanic black 12-19 y olds, the increase in percent of energy from all beverages or non-nutritive beverages were greater relative to non-Hispanic whites. In conclusion, the observed race/ethnic differences in trajectory of changes in dietary behaviors over past 20 y were modest and were not accompanied by a significant increase in energy intake. Cautious interpretation is urged due to potential underreporting of dietary intake in national surveys. There was a suggestion of convergence in some race/ethnic differentials in dietary behaviors due to greater relative changes in possibly adverse behaviors in non-Hispanic blacks, especially adolescents.