Food, water, energy, and macronutrient intake of non-breastfed infants and young children (0–3 years)
The French Nutri-Bébé 2013 study aimed to assess the nutritional intake of infants and young children in comparison with the recommendations of the 2013 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
This cross-sectional study enrolled a random sample of families selected according to the Quota sampling method. A 3-day dietary record was conducted and supervised by two face-to-face interviews. All foods and beverages consumed were qualitatively and quantitatively reported in a diary, and their composition calculated using a food composition database.
A total of 1035 non-breastfed children were included. Formula was abandoned early, amounting to approximately 50% of the total food intake at 7 months in 50% of infants and 22% at 1 year. A similar trend was observed for specific complementary foods. After 1 year, 50% of children consumed cow’s milk, which was semi-skimmed in 88% of cases. Drinking water intake was low. Protein intake reached 1.4 times the average requirements before 3 months, 2 times at 8–9 months, and > 4 times at 30–35 months. Fat intake was below the EFSA adequate intake (AI) in > 90% of children. Alpha-linolenic acid intake was equal to or greater than the AI in all infants < 3 months, 85% of children at 6 months, 34% at 12–17 months, and 8% >24 months. Regardless of age, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake was less than the AI.
Strong discrepancies are observed between the actual and recommended intake in young, non-breastfed children namely, a high-protein intake, and a low fat intake, especially DHA.
KeywordsNutrition survey Infant Young child Water intake Macronutrient intake
Agence Nationale de Sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’Environnement et du travail (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety)
Body mass index
Computer-assisted personal interviews
Centre d’Informations sur la Qualité des Aliments (Centre for Information on Food Quality)
Centre de Recherche pour l’Étude et l’Observation des Conditions de Vie (Research Centre for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions)
Dietary reference values
European Food Safety Authority
Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid
Secteur Français des Aliments de l’Enfance (French Organisation for Children’s Foods)
Total energy intake
Young child formula
We are grateful to the families who participated in the survey and to all of the people who contributed to the survey, especially in its design and supervision. We also want to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of the interviewers, as well as of Yves Emery and his team at TNS Sofres.
JPC was involved in the study design, analysis and interpretation of data, and writing of the paper, having primary responsibility for the final content. GT conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination, collected the data, performed the statistical analysis, and helped to draft the manuscript. CF contributed to draft the manuscript. US and DT reviewed and provided comments on drafts of the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript.
The survey has been fully funded to the SOFRES and the CREDOC by the Secteur Français des Aliments de l’Enfance (SFAE), 9 boulevard Malesherbes, Paris-75008, France.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
JPC received an honorarium from the CREDOC as a medical and scientific consultant. GT is employed by the CREDOC, funded by the SFAE. CF received an honorarium from the SFAE. DT and US declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
According to French law, no ethical approval was required for this study. It was conducted by an official polling institute, TNS Sofres, in full agreement with the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and the French data protection act, and the current research did not involve invasive procedures or therapeutic intervention. The study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03327415).
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