Eating behaviors developed during adolescence can have immediate health implications and influence future chronic disease risk. The objectives of this study were to determine and compare the distribution of energy and nutrient intakes among meals and snacks, and relate eating occasion frequency to body mass index (BMI) of adolescent males.
Healthy adolescent males (n = 180) completed 3-day food records. Following analysis for energy and nutrient intakes, 3-day averages and frequencies were computed for all meals and snacks.
Dinner was the largest contributor of energy, macronutrients, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and sodium, whereas both dinner and breakfast were the largest contributors of calcium and iron. On average, subjects consumed 1.63 snacks/day, with 77% consuming > or = 1 snack/day. BMI was significantly greater and energy intake was significantly lower in subjects having or = 6 eating occasions/day. The 26% of subjects classified as inconsistent breakfast consumers had significantly higher BMIs and lower iron intakes relative to consistent breakfast consumers.
This study provides valuable information regarding eating occasion frequency and contribution of meals and snacks to energy and nutrient intakes in adolescent males. Such information could be used to improve nutrition education programs for adolescents aimed at chronic disease prevention.