Browsing by Subject "preschoolers"

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  • Peltonen, Henna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Background: Preschoolers suffer frequently from infections. Large group sizes and varying hygiene practices may enhance pathogen transmission within preschool settings. Preschool-attributable infections cause economic consequences for society, which is why identifying the related risk factors is of importance. One such may be diet. Appropriate immune defence requires sufficient intakes of energy, protein, polyunsaturated fat, dietary fibre, and numerous micronutrients, whereas excess sugar and saturated fat may be harmful. However, previous nutritional research examining preschoolers’ infections has mainly focused on probiotics. Little research has been done on the role of whole-diet in preschoolers’ susceptibility to infections. Aim: The present study aimed to investigate the associations of dietary patterns with common colds, gastroenteritis, and antibiotic courses among Finnish preschoolers. Methods: The study sample included 721 children aged 3-6 years attending the cross-sectional DAGIS survey. The parents reported retrospectively how many common colds, gastroenteritis, and antibiotic courses their children had experienced during the past year. Children’s food consumption was recorded using a 47-item food frequency questionnaire filled in by the parents. The parents also reported background factors of their children and family. The following three dietary patterns were identified based on the food consumption frequencies using principal component analysis: 1) sweets-and-treats pattern (high loadings of e.g. biscuits, chocolate, and ice cream); 2) health-conscious pattern (high loadings of e.g. nuts, natural yoghurt, and berries); and 3) vegetables-and-processed meats pattern (high loadings of e.g. vegetables, colds cuts, and fruits). Dietary pattern scores were calculated for each child to describe the strength of adherence to each identified dietary pattern. The distributions of the dietary pattern scores were divided into thirds that were labelled low, moderate, and high adherence groups. Negative binomial regression analysis was used to examine the associations between thirds of the dietary pattern scores and the prevalence of common colds and antibiotic courses. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the associations between thirds of the dietary pattern scores and a chance of experiencing at least one gastroenteritis. Results: Prevalence of common colds was lower in moderate and high adherences to the sweets-and-treats pattern compared to low adherence (PR=0.89, 95% CI=0.80-1.00; and PR=0.88, 95% CI=0.79-0.99, respectively) and higher in high adherence to the health-conscious pattern compared to low adherence (PR=1.13, 95% CI=1.01-1.27) after adjusting for age, sex, number of children living in the same household, frequency of preschool attendance, probiotic use, and the highest educational level in the family. Moderate adherence to the sweets-and-treats pattern was associated with a lower chance of at least one gastroenteritis (OR=0.63, 95% CI=0.44-0.92) and lower prevalence of antibiotic courses (PR=0.77, 95% CI= 0.59-1.00) compared to low adherence. No significant associations were observed between the vegetables-and-processed meats pattern and the infectious outcomes. Adjustments for the background factors did not modify the associations. Conclusion: The results were unexpected. The associations observed would suggest that favouring unhealthier foods but avoiding healthier foods was linked to better immunity, which is difficult to accept as true. Parents who were most health-conscious of their children’s diet might also have been more conscious of their children’s illness conditions than less health-conscious parents, which may explain the results. Further research with longitudinal designs is needed to determine whether dietary habits play a role in preschoolers’ susceptibility to infections.
  • Ray, Carola; Figuereido, Rejane; Vepsäläinen, Henna; Lehto, Reetta; Pajulahti, Riikka; Skaffari, Essi; Sainio, Taina; Hiltunen, Pauliina; Lehto, Elviira; Korkalo, Liisa; Sääksjärvi, Katri; Sajaniemi, Nina; Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Roos, Eva (2020)
    The study examines the effects of a preschool-based family-involving multicomponent intervention on children's energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs) such as food consumption, screen time and physical activity (PA), and self-regulation (SR) skills, and whether the intervention effects differed among children with low or high parental educational level (PEL) backgrounds. The Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) intervention was conducted as a clustered randomized controlled trial, clustered at preschool level, over five months in 2017-2018. Altogether, 802 children aged 3-6 years in age participated. Parents reported children's consumption of sugary everyday foods and beverages, sugary treats, fruits, and vegetables by a food frequency questionnaire, and screen time by a 7-day diary. Physical activity was assessed by a hip-worn accelerometer. Cognitive and emotional SR was reported in a questionnaire by parents. General linear mixed models with and without repeated measures were used as statistical methods. At follow-up, no differences were detected in EBRBs or SR skills between the intervention and control group, nor did differences emerge in children's EBRBs between the intervention and the control groups when stratified by PEL. The improvement in cognitive SR skills among low PEL intervention children differed from low PEL control children, the significance being borderline. The DAGIS multicomponent intervention did not significantly affect children's EBRBs or SR. Further sub-analyses and a comprehensive process evaluation may shed light on the non-significant findings.
  • Suomi, Johanna; Ranta, Jukka; Tuominen, Pirkko; Hallikainen, Anja; Putkonen, Tiina; Bäckman, Christina; Ovaskainen, Marja-Leena; Virtanen, Suvi; Savela, Kirsti (Evira, 2013)
    Eviran tutkimuksia 2/2013
    Nitraattia esiintyy luonnostaan monissa kasviksissa ja talousvedessä. Osa syödystä nitraatista muuttuu elimistössä nitriitiksi. Nitraattia ja nitriittiä käytetään myös elintarvikelisäaineina, koska ne hillitsevät haitallisten mikrobien kasvua. Toisaalta niiden suuren saannin katsotaan aiheuttavan terveyshaittoja. Esitetty probabilistinen riskinarviointi perustuu vuosina 2004 – 2012 tutkittuihin valvonta- ja tutkimusprojektinäytteisiin sekä kirjallisuustietoihin. Lisäksi käytettiin Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitokselta saatuja Finravinto 2007- ja DIPP-ravintotutkimuksen tuottamia aikuisten ja lasten ruoankulutustietoja. Nitraattialtistus lisäainelähteistä on vähäistä. Valtaosa nitraattialtistuksesta saadaan luontaisista lähteistä: vihanneksista, hedelmistä ja vedestä. Kasvisten käsittely ja hyvä viljelykäytäntö vähentävät saantia. Paljon nitraattia sisältävien kasvisten suurkuluttajien altistus voi ylittää nitraatin hyväksyttävän päivittäissaannin (ADI). Nitriittialtistus elintarvikkeista ja talousvedestä voi ylittää ADI-arvon noin 14 %:lla 3-vuotiaista ja 11 %:lla 6-vuotiaista suomalaislapsista. Suurin altistuslähde ovat ruokamakkarat. Toisaalta jos nitriittipitoisuuksia alennettaisiin nykytasosta, hygieniavaatimuksia ja kylmäketjuhallintaa olisi tehostettava.