Diet quality in American children is suboptimal, contributing to the risk for overweight, obesity, and development of other chronic diseases. The objective of this community-based, randomized, controlled nutrition intervention was to assess the effect of serving high-fiber snacks (mean fiber content 5.1 g) twice daily on children’s diet quality and fiber intake. Participants (n=81) were healthy children 7 – 11 years of age attending a local elementary school. Children were cluster-randomized by classroom to either receive two high-fiber snacks per day for eight weeks (intervention), or to consume their regular snack foods (control). Study participants completed 24-hour diet recalls at baseline and at week 4 of the intervention. Revised Children’s Diet Quality Index (RC-DQI) scores and fiber intake were calculated based on two-day average intake at both time points using the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDS-R). Intervention group RC-DQI component scores for whole grain and iron intake were higher at week 4 compared to baseline (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively), dietary fiber intake increased by an average of 2.41 g/day (p<0.05), and caloric intake did not change. No food group or nutrient intakes were displaced by the addition of the high-fiber snacks. In conclusion, high-fiber snacks served at school can significantly improve dietary fiber intake without negatively affecting children’s energy intake, thus contributing to better diet quality in school-age children.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Human Nutrition and Food Science|
|Early online date||25 Jul 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Jul 2014|