Special Issue "Dietary Patterns and Health Outcomes in Children and Adolescents"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mary F.F. Chong
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Tahir Foundation Building, 12 Science Drive 2, Singapore 117549, Singapore
Interests: maternal and child nutrition; nutrition and non-communicable diseases; weight loss interventions; lifestyle and eating behaviors in adults and children
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Airu Chia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Tahir Foundation Building, 12 Science Drive 2, Singapore 117549, Singapore
Interests: maternal and child nutrition; nutrition and non-communicable diseases; weight loss interventions, lifestyle, and eating behaviors in adults and children

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The dietary pattern approach is a recent focus in nutrition research as it seeks to understand the totality of the diet and considers the synergistic effects of multiple food and nutrient components. While considerable research related to dietary patterns in adults and various health outcomes have emerged, research devoted to dietary patterns in children and adolescents in relation to health and the development of diseases over time is still lacking. This gap needs to be addressed as childhood and adolescence together represent one of the most rapid, dynamic and formative phases of human development and a critical period that forms the foundation for establishing healthy lifestyle habits that can track to adulthood.

In this Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, we invite submissions that examine dietary patterns in children and adolescents in relation to various health outcomes, with a particular interest in adiposity, glucose intolerance, bone health, and mental health or cognition. We welcome papers that address lifestyle variables and psychosocial factors that influence dietary patterns as well as those which seek to better understand dietary patterns from various ethnic backgrounds. Systematic reviews in this area would be of particular interest.

Dr. Mary F.F. Chong
Ms. Airu Chia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • dietary patterns
  • children
  • adolescents
  • adiposity
  • glucose intolerance
  • bone health
  • mental health
  • cognition
  • lifestyle
  • ethnicity

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Relationship between Lifestyle Factors and Obesity Indices among Adolescents in Qatar
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4428; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16224428 - 13 Nov 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2012
Abstract
Background: Physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour and an unhealthy diet are factors that may increase weight and general and/or abdominal obesity. Objective: To evaluate the relationship between general and abdominal obesity and lifestyle factors among adolescents in Qatar. Methods: The study data are based [...] Read more.
Background: Physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour and an unhealthy diet are factors that may increase weight and general and/or abdominal obesity. Objective: To evaluate the relationship between general and abdominal obesity and lifestyle factors among adolescents in Qatar. Methods: The study data are based on the Arab Teens Lifestyle Study (ATLS). The target population consisted of 1184 adolescents aged between 14 and 18 years old (563 boys and 621 girls), randomly selected through multistage sampling. A validated questionnaire was used to collect data on lifestyle indicators. Anthropometric indicators, which included body weight, height and waist circumference (WC), were measured according to standardised procedures. International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) age- and sex-specific body mass index (BMI) reference values were used to define overweight and obesity. Abdominal obesity was defined by the ‘waist-to-height ratio’ (WHtR > 0.5) and by sex- and age-specific WC cutoff values. Results: Females were more inactive than males (63.7% vs. 36.3%; p < 0.001). The proportion of adolescents who reported screen time of over 2 h per day was 82.5%. Females engaged in more sedentary behaviour than males (53.4% vs. 46.4%, p = 0.009). Being male (OR: 1.3; CI: 1.0–1.7) and skipping breakfast (OR: 1.5; CI: 1.2–2) were significantly associated with overweight/obesity. In contrast, high intake of fast food, fries, sweets and cake were negative predictors of general and abdominal obesity. Conclusions: The findings revealed the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle habits among adolescents in Qatar and indicated relationships between certain dietary habits and obesity. The findings of this study may help in advocating for the implementation of an intervention that includes lifestyle changes targeting adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Patterns and Health Outcomes in Children and Adolescents)
Article
The “Motor of the Day”: Parent and School-Age Children’s Cognitions, Barriers, and Supports for Breakfast
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16183238 - 04 Sep 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1272
Abstract
Despite the many benefits of regular breakfast consumption few parents and children consume this meal every day and research examining the determinants of breakfast consumption is limited. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine breakfast-related cognitions (i.e., beliefs, attitudes, facilitators, barriers) [...] Read more.
Despite the many benefits of regular breakfast consumption few parents and children consume this meal every day and research examining the determinants of breakfast consumption is limited. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine breakfast-related cognitions (i.e., beliefs, attitudes, facilitators, barriers) of parents and school-age children (ages 6–11 years) using the constructs of Social Cognitive Theory as a guide. Parents (n = 37) and children (n = 41) participated in focus group discussions held in community settings in 3 states (FL, NJ, WV). Data were qualitatively content analyzed to detect trends. Parents felt breakfast was important for numerous reasons. Parents expressed concern about the healthfulness of some traditional breakfast options, preferring breakfasts containing mostly fruits, vegetables, and protein and fewer carbohydrates. Parents identified lack of time as the greatest barrier to breakfast consumption. To overcome this barrier, they utilized grab-and-go foods, prepared breakfast ahead of time, and got up earlier. Utilizing the school breakfast program was another strategy mentioned, however some were concerned about the nutritional quality of this option. Children recognized the importance of breakfast and cited several benefits. The greatest barrier to breakfast identified by children was feeling rushed in the morning. To overcome barriers, children suggested having a morning routine, selecting or preparing breakfast foods ahead, and relying on parents to encourage breakfast consumption. The effectiveness of interventions aiming to improve breakfast intake may be improved by addressing parent and child breakfast-related cognitions and tailoring interventions to address their needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Patterns and Health Outcomes in Children and Adolescents)
Article
Early Eating Patterns and Overweight and Obesity in a Sample of Preschool Children in South-East Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3064; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16173064 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a child’s diet in the first year of life (breastfeeding duration, introduction of solid meals to the diet, the time of starting nutrition consistent with an adult diet) on the prevalence of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a child’s diet in the first year of life (breastfeeding duration, introduction of solid meals to the diet, the time of starting nutrition consistent with an adult diet) on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in preschool age. Three-hundred children aged 4–6 were included in the analysis. The children’s height and body weight were assessed and their body mass category was determined based on the BMI (Body Mass Index) percentile. Parents provided a photocopy of the child’s health book (with information concerning breastfeeding period, start of eating the same meals as the rest of the family, etc.). Obese children were breastfed for the shortest time, cow’s milk was introduced to their diets the earliest, they started eating the same food as the rest of the family the earliest, and they received vegetables, fruits, cereals, and meat products in their diet the latest. The results of this study suggest that extending the breastfeeding period beyond 6 months, starting to feed the child the same meals as the rest of the family after 12 months of age, and later introduction of cow’s milk to the diet would reduce the risk of the occurrence of excessive body weight in preschool children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Patterns and Health Outcomes in Children and Adolescents)
Article
Impacts of Nutrition Subsidies on Diet Diversity and Nutritional Outcomes of Primary School Students in Rural Northwestern China—Do Policy Targets and Incentives Matter?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2891; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16162891 - 13 Aug 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1240
Abstract
Many developing countries have implemented nutrition intervention programs to reduce child malnutrition. However, the effectiveness of these programs differs greatly, and it remains unclear what is causing the differences in effectiveness across different programs. To shed some light on this issue, this article [...] Read more.
Many developing countries have implemented nutrition intervention programs to reduce child malnutrition. However, the effectiveness of these programs differs greatly, and it remains unclear what is causing the differences in effectiveness across different programs. To shed some light on this issue, this article examines the role the specificity of policy targets, along with the incentives attached, plays in affecting the effectiveness of nutrition intervention programs. More specifically, we examined how different policy targets (and the associated incentives) affect primary students’ dietary structure and (thus) their nutritional and health status by analyzing a randomized intervention in rural Northwestern China that was designed with two treatment arms. The two treatments provided the same nutrition subsidy to project students but with different policy targets, one with a specific target of “anemia reduction” and the other with a general target of “malnutrition reduction”. Our analysis revealed that compared to the treatment arm with only a general policy target, the treatment arm with the specific “anemia reduction” target was more effective at improving students’ nutritional and health status, as measured by the incidences of being anemic and underweight, presumably through helping them develop a dietary structure with more flesh meat, bean products, vegetables, and fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Patterns and Health Outcomes in Children and Adolescents)
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Review

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Review
Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity in Malaysian Adolescents: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 603; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16040603 - 19 Feb 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2736
Abstract
The increased prevalence of unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles among Malaysian adolescents has become a public health concern. The aim of this systematic review was to summarize evidence from observational studies related to diet and physical activity (PA) among Malaysian adolescents (13–18 [...] Read more.
The increased prevalence of unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles among Malaysian adolescents has become a public health concern. The aim of this systematic review was to summarize evidence from observational studies related to diet and physical activity (PA) among Malaysian adolescents (13–18 years) and to recognize the associations between determinants of diet and PA and diet and PA behaviours. A systematic search for observational studies published from August 1990 through August 2017 was conducted via PubMed, Science Direct, Cochrane and Web of Science. A total of 18 studies met the inclusion criteria; these were independently extracted by two reviewers. Gender and ethnicity were the most commonly studied correlates of diet and PA; males were more physically active and they tended to have poorer diet quality and higher energy and macronutrient intakes in comparison to females; Malay adolescents had a lower diet quality and Chinese adolescents spent less time in PA compared to other ethnicities. However, the significance of these associations was often small or inconsistent. This review highlights the lack of longitudinal observational studies but summarizes the best available evidence for policymakers and public health practitioners to improve the diet and the level of PA in Malaysian adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Patterns and Health Outcomes in Children and Adolescents)
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