The objective of this cross-sectional study is to compare the dietary behaviors of children from low food secure (LFS) households with children from very low food secure (VLFS) households over an entire day, and during meals specifically consumed at home —breakfast, snack, and dinner. Parents of the recruited children completed a demographic questionnaire, along with USDA's 6-item short form food security questionnaire. Children completed 24-hour dietary recalls in person. Complete data from 102 children 9 to 12 years old were used. Using ANOVA to assess the differences among groups in intakes over an entire day and during meals consumed at home, no significant differences were found, except for vitamin C intake during breakfast. Based on the definitions of LFS and VLFS, it was hypothesized that children from VLFS group would have lower dietary intakes compared to children from the LFS group. However, this study found little difference. Speculations have been made for these findings and implications for research have been presented.

Author Biography

Jayna Dave, PhD, is an instructor at the US Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Her research agenda includes development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based dietary interventions grounded in behavioral theories for prevention of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases in low-income food-insecure populations. Her current research focuses on alternative food assistance programs such as food banks, and their potential to provide nutrition education and healthy foods to the low-income food-insecure clients.

Karen Cullen, DrPH, RD, is Associate Professor at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Her main research interest area is the prevention of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases. Current projects include the development and evaluation of a website on healthy eating and physical activity for high school students; the evaluation of a web-based program on healthy eating for African American families; the exploration of strategies to increase school breakfast consumption in middle schools, and dissemination of a video intervention on improving the family home food environment and food parenting tips for Cooperative Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) classes. She has previously served as a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee to Review the Child and Adult Food Care programs. She also served on the IOM Committee to Review the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program Meal Patterns and Nutrient Standards in 2008-2009.