Korean J Fam Pract.  2022 Jun;12(3):158-166. 10.21215/kjfp.2022.12.3.158.

Dietary Intake and Nutritional Status of Children and Adolescent According to the Meal Frequency: The 7th (2016–2018) Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Children and adolescents growth and development rapidly, thus it is critical to meet their nutritional needs. Understanding their dietary patterns is crucial for providing proper dietary education. The goal of study is to investigate dietary and nutritional habits of children and adolescents based on the frequency of regular meals.
Using data obtained from the 7th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a total of 3,036 children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 years were divided into three groups based on meal intake regularity: 3 meals regular diet (MRD), 2MRD, and 1 meal regular or irregular diet. The nutrient intakes in accordance with the 2020 Korean Dietary Reference Intakes were calculated using the 24-hour recall method. A generalized linear model was used to perform a multivariable analysis.
Participants who ate three regular meals per day had better subjective health and a thinner perception of their body shape compared to other participants. Meal skipping was more common in grandparents households. The 3MRD group consumed more seeds, nuts, fish, whereas the 1MRD group consumed more beverages and fats. As the frequency of meals decreased, the proportion of carbohydrates in nutrient uptake decreased (from 61.36% to 59.04%) and fats increased (from 23.57% to 25.26%). The proportion of people consuming less than the estimated average requirement for energy and all nutrients increased significantly in the 1MRD group compared to the 3MRD group.
Regular breakfast-lunch-dinner meal group had a more adequate nutrition status and health than low frequency meal groups.


Food Intake; Nutrition; Meal Frequency; Health; Children and Adolescent
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