29.09.2015 | Original Contribution
Food intake and inflammation in European children: the IDEFICS study
European Journal of Nutrition
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This cross-sectional study assesses the relationship between consumption frequencies of food items and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in European children.
Out of the baseline sample (N = 16.228) of the IDEFICS study, 6.403 children (1.315 boys aged 2 to <6, 1.908 boys aged 6 to <10, 1.204 girls aged 2 to <6 and 1.976 girls aged 6 to <10 years) had hs-CRP measured and the Children’s Eating Habits Questionnaire filled, including a food frequency questionnaire. Logistic regression adjusted for body mass index z-score, education of the mother, breast-feeding and self-reported hours of physical activity in a sport club per week was conducted.
Mean frequency intake of raw vegetable was lower in boys (p = 0.022 in young and p = 0.020 in old) and older girls (p = 0.026) with high hs-CRP concentration, while in younger girls (p = 0.008) the same occurred with the cooked vegetables. The probability of having higher hs-CRP concentration was significantly associated with having low consumption frequency of vegetables (p = 0.004 in older boys, raw vegetables; and p = 0.0032 in younger girls, cooked vegetables). Also, honey/jam intake decreased the probability of having higher concentration of hs-CRP, whereas soft drinks with sugar, mayonnaise and cereals milled increased this probability.
Out of all food items associated with hs-CRP, frequency intake of vegetables presented more associations across all the analysis. Findings suggest that a high-frequency intake of vegetables is inversely related to an inflammatory status in children. More studies are needed to assess the association between diet and inflammation.