Dietary intake and nutritional status of children at low and high risk for lead poisoning
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To clarify the relationship between nutritional status and lead toxicity in children aged 1-4 years. To develop a risk index for lead toxicity and determine whether nutrition has a significant impact on blood lead levels given similar levels of risk. To use the results to develop an in-depth nutrition education program to be used by health professionals throughout California aimed at reducing risk of lead toxicity in children.
APPROACH: Currently, very little is known regarding specific interactions among nutrients and risk of lead toxicity in humans. One of the main reasons for this paucity of information is that we lack reliable methods to estimate dietary intake among children, ages 1-6. In the proposed study, parents/guardians will be interviewd in detail, regarding their child's diet and habits. The careful examination of interactions between lead toxicity and nutrient status will be important in setting pediatric nutrition guidelines and educational efforts aimed at children at risk of lead exposure.
PROGRESS: My group is examining the dietary intake and nutritional status of children at high and low risk of lead poisoning. During the pastyear, analyses of dietary intake among children considered to be at high risk (due to low socioeconomic status SES ) or low risk (due to high SES) for lead (Pb) toxicity has been conducted. Lower income subjects attended clinics of California Child Health and Disability Prevention Program providers (CHDP, n=151); higher income subjects were patients of a private pediatrician (non-CHDP, n=64). Three detailed 24-hour recalls were administered to a parent of each child. A food group serving database was developed to calculate the contributions of foods consumed to thePyramid food groups. For combination foods, servings were assigned to the recipe ingredients in proportional amounts. Legumes were included with the meat group. For all age groups, daily grain and meat intake averaged 5.1 and 0.9 servings, respectively; 94% of children age 2-4 did not meet the FGP meat-serving recommendation. Seventy percent of 1-year-olds met the recommendation of two dairy servings per day, while only 38%of 2-4-year-olds achieved this level. Only 28% of children ages 2-4 met the 5-a-Day goal for fruits and vegetables. In this age group, fruit intake averaged 2.7 servings per day, and non-CHDP children were more likely than CHDP children to consume less than one serving of vegetables per day (64% and 33%, respectively)."