The Plymouth Student Scientist

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Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences Articles


Sugar consumption amongst children continues to sit above the current UK recommendations, contributing to rates of obesity and dental caries in this group. Previous research has focused on children of school age, investigating the role of parental income and education on child diet quality. The aim of this research was to assess the relationship between sociodemographic factors and the consumption of snacks and drinks by children between 1 and 5 years attending childcare settings across Plymouth. A questionnaire was distributed to settings to be filled out by parents/carers, measuring occupation, living situation and the number of children in the family, as well as consumption of drinks and snacks by children. Results found a significant difference in sugary drinks consumed per week between those with unemployed parents who were consuming an average of 12.70 portions per week and parents employed in highly skilled professions (4.24, p=0.019). Those with two other children were consuming less fruit/fruit products at 8 portions per week when compared to those with no other children (18.50 portions, p=0.045), one (17.48 portions, p=0.011) or three or more other children (27.10 portions, p=0.017). Mean portions of sugary drinks consumed were also higher in those children whose mothers were unemployed (11.89) compared to those employed (4.47, p=0.035). These findings suggest that family sociodemographic factors have a relationship with the consumption of fruit and sugary drinks by children aged between 1 and 5 years in Plymouth. Further research is needed to investigate how these characteristics may mediate a child’s diet.

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The Plymouth Student Scientist





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July 2021

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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