Nutritional Status of Preschool (2-6 Years of Age) Children
Early childhood is a critical life period because of its importance for supplying regular and adequate nutrition, and giving essential nutritional education to the children. In the present study, between January 2004 and March 2006, food consumption of 2- to 6-year-old children from different socioeconomic levels in Izmir was investigated. Anthropometric measurements of these 518 children were also recorded. SPSS 14.0 for Windows was used for statistical analysis. Total duration of breastfeeding of the subjects was 11.4±7.0 months, and the duration for exclusively breastfeeding was 4.55±1.8 months. The frequency of children with height SDS value of less than -2 SD was 3.4 %, and those with a weight for height SDS value higher than +2 SD was 8.3 %. Out of the daily energy requirements, 48.8 % was provided from carbohydrate, 14.6 % from protein, and 36.5 % from fat. The children from low socioeconomic levels consumed more carbohydrate, and less protein and fat. Daily water, fiber, fluoride, potassium, linoleic acid and vitamin D intake of children was low, while daily energy, iron and folic acid intake was just under the recommended level. The carbohydrate, protein, fat and energy intake was highest at the evening meal. Because poverty has a negative effect on the health of children, nutritional support is needed to the children of poor societies.
preschool, child, nutrition, food consumption, malnutrition