The Kids Nutrition and Health Study in China is part of the global research project focusing on the assessment of children’s dietary intakes and eating behaviors. By analyzing data from the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey, we found that most Chinese children did not consume enough nutrients, such as fiber, calcium and vitamin D, whereas the intakes of saturated fat and sodium were excessive in 57% and 85% of children, respectively.

Children from urban areas and from higher income households were more likely to have higher micronutrient intakes and consume more animal source foods, especially dairy products, than those from rural areas and from lower income households. The prevalence of overweight or obesity in children was higher in urban areas and higher income families than in rural settings and those from lower income households.

We also reported that almost all children had three main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and 71% of them consumed snacks that contributed 10% of daily energy. Results suggested that a comprehensive approach that includes nutrition education, nutrition intervention programs targeting vulnerable populations, and promotion of physical activity is needed to improve the nutrition and health status in Chinese children.

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