In France, 1 in 2 children are below calcium intake recommendations

May 03, 2019
Sébastien Bouley

The CREDOC has evaluated the individual consumption of dairy products and calcium intakes in children living in France, aged between 3 and 10 years between 2010 and 2016. The results show that their calcium needs are less and less well covered since 2010, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Indeed, 40% of children aged 6 to 10 years are below average nutritional needs (BNM) against 20% for 3 to 5 years. This can be explained by a drop in the consumption of dairy products, especially breakfast milk, but also yogurts and cheese at the end of the meal.

The report also highlights that children’s diets are degrading from the age of 6, with increased consumption of processed products and sugary products and a less and less diversified diet.

It stands out 4 groups of children from 6 to 10 according to their diets:

  • The “little eaters” (39% of the children): They consume less of all the food products on the one hand and have a lesser diversity of food.
  • The “variety lovers” (23% of children): The diversity of their diet is greater. However, the caloric density of their diet is lower because they choose less often the richest foods. “Variety lovers” cover their calcium needs quite well. They eat more cheese, the product that is the largest contributor to calcium intake, and also consume a good variety of dairy products.
  • The “regulars at all-prepared food” (22% of children): The diversity of their diet is the lowest: they consume more sandwiches (+55%), pizzas-quiches (+45%) and dishes (+ 30%) than the average. Their calcium intake is above average and they are the most numerous to cover this need thanks to their high consumption of milk and cereals at breakfast.
  • The “sweet palates” (16% of children): The diversity of their diet is significantly higher than those of “little eaters” and “regulars at all ready”, but on types of food that it is not recommended to encourage such as salty biscuits, pastries, sugary drinks … They are 45% not to cover their calcium needs.

To know more, you can consult the complete study on this link.

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