Food and Behaviour Research

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Assessment of the nutritional status of children with special needs in Alexandria: I. Nutrient intake and food consumption.

Shabayek MM. (2004) J Egypt Public Health Assoc.. 79(3-4): 225-41 

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The present study was undertaken to evaluate the nutritional status of children with special needs in Alexandria city, on the basis of nutrient intake and food consumption. Socio-demographic characteristics and dietary data were determined in a sample of 231 disabled children chosen randomly from five specialized day care centers. Results showed that the age of the sample ranged from less than 7 to 24 years with a mean age of 12.6 +/- 4.7 years. Mental retardation represents the highest proportion of subjects followed by Down's syndrome and then Autism Male subjects were found to consume higher nutrients than females at all ages except age under seven years. The intake of both gender was less than the recommended for energy, calcium, vitamin A, niacin and zinc. While the intake of protein and vitamin C was more than the RDA Iron intake was below the recommended for females at all ages and within the acceptable level for male. The results also showed that there is a relationship between nutrient intake and disability type. Down syndrome children were found to consume more nutrients than mentally retarded and autistic subjects.