The increased prevalence of overweight in Canadian children has stimulated interest in their lifestyle behaviours. The purpose of this research was to investigate dietary intake and food behaviours of Ontario students in grades six, seven, and eight.
Males and females from grades six to eight were recruited from a stratified random selection of schools from Ontario. Data were collected using the web-based "Food Behaviour Questionnaire", which included a 24-hour diet recall and food frequency questionnaire. Nutrients were analyzed using ESHA Food Processor and the 2001 Canadian Nutrient File database. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated based on self-reported weight and height, and classified according to the Centers for Disease Control BMI for age percentiles.
The sample included males (n = 315) and females (n = 346) in grades 6, 7, and 8 from 15 schools in Ontario. According to Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating (CFGHE), median intakes were below recommendations for all participants, with the exception of meat and alternatives. Participants consumed a median of 54%, 15%, 31%, 11%, and 8% of total energy from carbohydrates, protein, total fat, saturated fat, and added sugars, respectively. Participants consumed 25% of total energy from foods from the "other" food group (CFGHE). Males had higher intakes of energy, carbohydrates, fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, protein, thiamine, niacin, iron, and zinc than females (all p