Intake and food sources of dietary fat among schoolchildren in The Woodlands, Texas

R. S. McPherson*, M. Z. Nichaman, H. W. Kohl, D. B. Reed, D. R. Labarthe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


To investigate the nutrient intake and food use patterns among schoolchildren, diet was assessed among 138 children and adolescents in grades 5 through 12 using three random, nonconsecutive, 1-day food records. Mean intake of total fat, saturated fat, and polyunsaturated fat as percent of calories was 35.6%, 13.4%, and 6.6%, respectively. Among all subjects, 17% consumed diets containing <30% of calories from fat, 34% consumed ≥38% of calories from fat, 7% consumed <10% of calories from saturated fatty acids, and >97% ate <300 mg of cholesterol per day. While intake of calories, sodium, and β-carotene per 1000 kcal was higher in subjects consuming higher fat diets, intake of other micronutrients was either higher among those eating low-fat diets or did not differ by level of fat intake. Differences were seen in the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol that individual food sources contributed to the diets of subjects eating high and low fat diets. These cross-sectional data show that a substantial proportion of children and adolescents in this population are consuming diets low in fat and cholesterol without systematic differences in intake of other nutrients, suggesting that current dietary guidelines regarding fat intake are attainable within the current food use pattern of healthy, school-aged children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-526
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990


  • atherogenic diet
  • cardiovascular disease
  • dietary fat
  • dietary patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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