Nutrient density decreases during dietary transition in the second year of life

C. A. Pagnotta, M. F. Picciano, H. Smiciklas-Wright, D. C. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A growth and infant nutrition study (GAINS) was undertaken to assess relationships among nutrient intakes and anthropometric measures of children (n=55) aged 12 to 18 mo. Dietary data were collected monthly via 3-day records, tabulated by the Minnesota Nutrient Data System, and analyzed by repeated measures analysis of variance. Mean kcal intake did not change from 12/13 to 14 mo, increased from 14 to 16 mo (954123 to 1044±32, p<0.01), and then stabilized. Percentage kcals from macronutrients remained relatively constant throughout the study. Micronutrient intakes did not always reflect changes in energy intake. Intakes of vitamins A and D remained constant. Vitamin A intake was above RDA (≥147%) while that of vitamin D was below (≤56%). Intakes of folate, vitamins B-12, C, and B-6, and Ca and Zn increased (p<0.05). Intakes of folate (≥237%), vitamin B-12 (≥319%) and vitamin C (≥163%) were higher than RDA; those of vitamin B-6 (≤98%) and calcium (≤103%) were at or near the RDA, while that of zinc (≤54%) was consistently below RDA. Intakes of both vitamin E and iron actually decreased despite an increase in energy intake (p<0.05). Vitamin E intake (≤68%) remained below the RDA; iron intake decreased from 98% to 75% of the RDA. These data show that as infants adopt the diet of their family, total energy increases but the nutrient density of foods selected may decrease. Nutrients identified at reduced density were vitamins A, D and E and iron.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A186
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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