3-,9- and 15-year-old children were studied in autumn in order to evaluate their serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-OH-D) concentration and their vitamin D intake. The 25-OH-D was significantly lower in the 15-year-old than in the other children, but it was satisfactory in all groups as compared to the 25-OH-D of healthy, young adults. The mean dietary vitamin D intake as well as the mean total vitamin D intake including supplements was low in all groups of children. With a vitamin D intake as low as in this study, every house-bound child would be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
In connection with a survey of child nutrition in Finland the haemoglobin and heamatocrit values in childhood and the prevalence of anaemia were studied. The series consisted of 1534 children aged 5, 9 and 13 years. The haemoglobin concentrations in those age groups were 12.60 +/- 0.81, 13.24 +/- 0.77 and 13.64 +/- 0.77 and 13.64 +/- 0.90 g/100 ml, respectively. The haematocrit values were 38.0 +/- 2.53, 39.6 +/- 2.50 and 40.8 +/- 3.00%. In the total series, 3.0% of the Hb values and 4.8% of the PCV values were below the WHO norms. No difference was found between anaemic and non-anaemic children with respect to the mean daily intake of dietary iron or the intake of iron from the food group eggs, meat and fish in absolute amounts or per 1000 kcal. Anaemic 5-year-old children, however, obtained from this food group a significantly smaller percentage of their total dietary iron than the non-anaemic children of the same age.
In connection with a survey of child nutrition in Finland a study was carried out on the serum cholesterol concentration in childhood and its relationship to dietary and other variables. The material consisted of 1496 children ages 5, 9, and 13 years from 14 local districts in Finland. Total cholesterol was determined from nonfasted venous serum samples by a modification of the p-toluenesulfonic acid reaction. Food consumption was investigated by the 24-hr recall method and nutrient intakes determined from these results using food composition tables. For analysis, children in each age group were classified into low, medium, and high cholesterol groups. The serum cholesterol concentrations of the 5, 9, and 13 year olds were 6.03 +/- 1.03, 6.16 +/- 1.04, and 6.08 +/- 1.01 mmole/liter (233 +/- 40, 238 +/- 40, and 235 +/- 39 mg/100 ml), respectively. Of the children 10% had serum cholesterol concentrations of 7.4 mmole/liter (286 mg/100 ml) or more. Serum cholesterol concentration was not correlated with sex, relative body weight, or systolic or diastolic blood pressure. High cholesterol concentrations appeared to be associated with traditional dietary habits and especially with a high proportion of saturated fats in the diet.
The aim of the study was to evaluate and to compare the 24-hr recall method with the dietary history method as used in a food consumption survey of children. Information on the dietary intkake was obtained by 24-hour recall from 158 children and by the history method from 134. The interviews are repeated 7 months later. In addition, 741 children were interviewed by both methods on the same occasion. The repeatability of the results was analyzed both at the individual and at the group level. The correlation coefficients between the first and second interview in terms of the individual intakes of energy and nutrients were fairly low for both methods. At the group level the results of repeated 24-hr recalls were in good agreement. The dietary history method, however, gave significantly different mean intakes when repeated. The correlation coefficients between the values obtained by the 24-hr recall and the history method varied from 0.20 (vitamin A) to 0.50 (energy). The history method gave consistently higher mean values than the 24-hr recall. Neither of the methods can be considered suitable for the measurement of an individual child's dietary intake. The 24-hr recall is preferable for food consumption surveys of groups of children.
The reproducibility and validity of a food frequency questionnaire designed to measure intakes of total fat, saturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, and dietary fiber were tested from March to October 1984 among 297 Finnish men aged 55-69 years. The questionnaire asked about consumption of 44 food items. In the reproducibility study, 107 subjects filled in the questionnaire three times, at three-month intervals. Intraclass correlations varied from 0.52 for vitamin A to 0.85 for polyunsaturated fat. In the validity study, 190 subjects kept food consumption records for 12 two-day periods distributed evenly over a period of six months and filled in the questionnaire both before and after this period. Correlations between the nutrient intake values from the food records and those from the food frequency questionnaires ranged from 0.33 for selenium to 0.68 for polyunsaturated fat. On the average, 40-45% of the subjects in the lowest and highest quintiles based on food records were in the same respective quintiles when assessed by the food frequency questionnaire, and 70-75% were in the two lowest and two highest questionnaire quintiles, respectively. The food frequency questionnaire and a quantitative food use questionnaire tested in the same study were compared. Use of these two instruments in large-scale epidemiologic studies is discussed.
Association of serum lipids with metabolic control and diet were studied in 72 young subjects with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Data on food consumption were collected by the 48-h recall method. Glycosylated haemoglobin (Hb) A1 was used as a measure of metabolic control. There were no differences between males and females in the mean values for serum total cholesterol (TC, 4.5 and 4.9 mmol/l, respectively), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, 2.7 and 3.0 mmol/l), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, 1.3 and 1.4 mmol/l), or serum triglycerides (TG, 1.1 and 1.0 mmol/l). Diabetic subjects who were in better metabolic control (HbA1 or = 10.5%) had lower TC and TG values and a higher HDL-C/TC ratio. HbA1 level and intake of saturated fatty acids were positively associated with serum TC and LDL-C values and explained 14% and 15% of the variation in TC and LDL-C, respectively. HbA1 level and insulin dose per kg of body weight were positively associated with serum TG values and explained 30% of the variation in TG. Serum TC and LDL-C levels of young subjects with IDDM could be lowered by improving their metabolic control and decreasing their saturated fatty acid intake.