Plain language summary
Dietary guidelines recommend children and adolescents consume nutrient-dense foods to promote growth and development, and recently eggs have been included in these recommendations. At present, there are no studies in children and adolescents that have examined nutrient-related associations of egg consumption. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate egg consumption and nutrient intakes, diet quality and growth outcomes relative to non-egg consumers. Using cross-sectional data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), data from 3,299 egg consumers and 17,030 non-egg consumers aged 2-18 was examined. Compared with non-egg consumption, egg consumption was associated with elevated intake of protein, healthy fats, antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals, and lower intake of sugar. There were several shortfall nutrients associated with egg consumption including fibre, iron, and folate. No associations were found when examining diet quality and growth-relate measures. This analysis demonstrated several nutrient-related benefits to support the continued inclusion of eggs in the dietary patterns of children and adolescents. Based on these results, the authors conclude this study illustrates an opportunity to communicate the benefits linked with egg consumption to individuals that influence children and adolescents.
undefined: Dietary pattern recommendations include consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods in children and adolescents to promote optimal growth and development. The current study investigated associations with egg consumption and nutrient intakes, diet quality, and growth outcomes relative to non-egg consumers. The analysis used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2012 in children and adolescents aged 2-18 years ( = 3,299, egg consumers; = 17,030, egg non-consumers). Daily energy and nutrient intakes were adjusted for the complex sample design of NHANES using appropriate weights. Consuming eggs was associated with increased daily energy intake relative to non-egg consumption. Children and adolescents consuming eggs had elevated daily intake of protein, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and total fat, α-linolenic acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), choline, lutein + zeaxanthin, vitamin D, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. Egg consumers had greater consumption, sodium, saturated fat, with reduced total and added sugar versus egg non-consumers. The analysis also showed that egg consumption was linked with lower intake of dietary folate, iron, and niacin. No associations were determined when examining diet quality and growth-related measures. A sub-analysis considering socioeconomic status showed that egg consumption was positively related with daily lutein + zeaxanthin and DHA intake. The current analysis demonstrated several nutrient-related benefits to support the continued inclusion of eggs in the dietary patterns of children and adolescents.