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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

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Energy intake variability in free-living young children

Nielsen, SB and Montgomery, C. and Kelly, L.A. and Jackson, D.M. and Reilly, John J (2008) Energy intake variability in free-living young children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 93 (11). pp. 971-973. ISSN 0003-9888

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Abstract

It has been suggested that young children regulate their daily energy intake very closely with highly stable day-to-day total energy intake. This hypothesis was developed on the basis of an experimental study of 15 children aged 26 to 62 months, which reported a within-subject coefficient of variation (CV) in daily energy intake of 10.4%. We tested the hypothesis that free-living energy intakes were highly stable on a day-to-day basis in a sample of free-living young children from Glasgow, Scotland. In 101 children (47 boys) aged 2.6-6.8 years, energy intake was measured using multiple-pass 24-hour recalls. Within-subject CV was 19.2% which was significantly higher than the 10.4% reported by Birch and colleagues (p<0.0001). In addition, we identified four other studies on free-living children with within-subject CV's ranging from 16.1-28.7%. This evidence indicates that young children show a wide intra-individual variation in day-to-day regulation of energy intake in a free-living environment.