(HealthDay News) – Over the last decade, caloric intake has fallen for most age groups among children and adolescents in the United States, according to a February data brief issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). In addition, protein intake has generally increased and carbohydrate intake has generally decreased.

To determine trends in caloric intake for children and adolescents 2–19 years old, R. Bethene Ervin, PhD, RD, and Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, MRP, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, MD, analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2010, a survey to monitor health and nutritional status based on interviews, physical exams, laboratory tests of blood and urine, and dietary recalls.

The researchers found that caloric intakes fell for most age groups between 1999–2000 and 2009–2010. The percentage of total kilocalories from protein increased for both boys and girls, with the exception of non-Hispanic black girls. The percentage of total kilocalories from carbohydrate decreased for non-Hispanic black boys and non-Hispanic white boys and girls. There was little change in the percentage of total kilocalories from total fat or saturated fat.

“The percentage of calories from protein, carbohydrate, and fat are within the ranges recommended for these macronutrients for this age group, but the percentage of calories from saturated fat was above the 10 percent recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010,” Ervin and colleagues write. “In 2009–2010, on average, U.S. children and adolescents consumed between 11–12% of kilocalories from saturated fat.”

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