Dieting in children: a population-based study in children aged between 9 and 12 years

Mieke Dousma, Nienke Wierdsma, Jaap van Ede, Stef van Buuren, Hugo S. A. Heijmans, Tjalling W. de Vries

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Dieting can be a burden for the child and can have side effects. Insight into dieting is therefore important. A recent study showed that 13.7% (95% CI 11.5-15.9%) of the children referred to a general paediatric outpatient clinic were or had been on a diet. However, it is unknown how many children in a random population are or have been on a diet. Parents of children in the fifth grade of primary schools in the Dutch province of Friesland were asked to complete a structured questionnaire. From 2500 questionnaires 90% were returned. Two hundred and thirty-one children aged between 9 and 12 years had been on a diet (10.3%, 95% CI 9.0%-11.6%). A cow's milk free diet was used most frequently (50% of the dieting children). Other diets were: diets excluding additives (16%), peanuts (16%), sugar (15%) and lactose (11%). The use of diets by children in a general population is widespread: one in every ten children was or had been on a diet. Due to the known health risks associated with diets excluding one or more foods, such diets should only be advised by healthcare professionals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-275
JournalActa paediatrica (Oslo, Norway
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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