Associations Between Child And Parent Knowledge Of Added Sugar Recommendations And Added Sugar Intake In Multiethnic Elementary Aged Children




Justiz, Amanda

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Background: Due to the adverse health effects of added sugar consumption, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) encourages reduced intake of added sugars. While education is a key component of the DGA, no research has been conducted to study if parent and child knowledge of recommendations for added sugar is associated with decreased intake in children. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of parent and child knowledge of added sugar recommendations on added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake in low-income primarily Hispanic 3rd to 5th grade students. Methods: This study examines baseline data from TX Sprouts, a 1-year cooking, gardening, and nutrition clustered, randomized control trial. Parents and children completed a survey to assess knowledge of added sugar recommendations and SSB. Children completed two, 24-hour dietary recalls to assess average child intake of added sugars. Regression models were used to assess associations between parent and child knowledge of added sugar recommendations and identification of SSB with added sugar and SSB intake. Results: This analyses includes 592 children with complete child surveys, parent surveys, and dietary recall data. Approximately 60% of the sample was Hispanic, 23% was non-Hispanic white, and 11% was African American, and 54.4% was female. Only 38.3% of children were able to identify the correct recommendation for added sugar intake compared to 45.6% of parents. Children who correctly identified the added sugar recommendation consumed lower amounts of added sugar compared to children who did not correctly identify the recommendation (36.4 ±2.1 vs. 40.5 ±1.8 grams, p<0.03). Parent knowledge of added sugar recommendations was not associated with child added sugar intake. Neither knowledge of added sugar recommendations nor ability to identify low sugar beverages was associated with child SSB consumption. Conclusions: These findings suggest that child knowledge of added sugar guidelines is associated with lower intake of added sugar. Nutrition education in children should focus on increasing knowledge of national guidelines and recommendations to improve dietary intake and overall health.



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