Objective: Optimal intakes of calcium and milk are necessary in children and adolescents to facilitate not only mineralization but also growth in stature. Low intakes of calcium and also, of milk and milk products in Indian children have been reported. Hence, the objective was to study Indian childrens growth with respect to their calcium and dairy intakes.
Methods: We studied 220 children (boys 104, age range 216 years). Data on their height, weight and dietary intakes (by 24 h dietary recall for 2 non-consecutive week days and a Sunday) were collected. Height, weight and BMI for age Z-scores were computed using contemporary Indian normative standards (Indian Pediatr 46 477489, 2009).
Results: Mean height for age (HAZ) and weight for age (WAZ) Z-scores were −0.8±1.2 and −1.2±1.5 respectively. Eighteen percent children had their HAZ below −2 and 27% had their WAZ below −2. Average daily energy intakes were 83% of the age and gender matched RDA. Mean % RDA intake of protein was 115% and of calcium was 55%. The median daily calcium intake was 367 (258556) mg; of this, 30% was from dairy sources and 70% was from plant foods. A significant (P<0.05) positive correlation was found between the HAZ with the intake of protein (r=0.27), calcium (r=0.19), phosphorus (r=0.23) after controlling for energy intake. Further, a significant (P<0.05) positive correlation of HAZ was found with the consumption of dairy products (r=0.14).
Conclusion: Indian children studied had low intakes of calcium which was chiefly derived from non-dairy foods. Consumption of dairy foods is likely to be associated with better growth.
22 Jun 2013 - 25 Jun 2013