Dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids among breast-feeding and non-breast-feeding 24- to 48-month-old children in Bangladesh

Elizabeth A. Yakes, Joanne E. Arsenault, M. Munirul Islam, Tahmeed Ahmed, J. Bruce German, Christiana Drake, Mohammad B. Hossain, Bess L. Lewis, Ahmed Shafiqur Rahman, Kazi M. Jamil, Kenneth H. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to assess the adequacy of polyunsaturated fatty acid intake by rural Bangladeshi children 24 to 48 months old in relation to their breast-feeding status. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Multistage sampling was used to select a representative sample of children 24 to 48 months of age from 2 rural districts in Bangladesh (n = 479). Two nonconsecutive 24-hour periods of dietary data were collected via 12-hour daytime in-home observations and recall. Breast milk intake was estimated using test weighing. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) method for episodically consumed foods was used to estimate distributions of usual food and nutrient intakes. RESULTS: Based on the estimated intake distributions, >95% of the children had usual fat intakes <30% of total energy. Among 24- to 35-month-old (younger) and 36- to 48-month-old (older) children, respectively, 4% and 16% of breast-feeding children and 31% and 41% of non-breast-feeding children were estimated to consume <10% of total energy from fat. An estimated 80% of all of the children consumed <4% of total energy as linoleic acid, and 99% consumed <1% of energy as α-linolenic acid. Younger breast-feeding children had higher estimated average docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intakes (0.04 g DHA/day) than their non-breast-feeding counterparts (0.01 g DHA/day; P = 0.0005). Both breast-feeding and non-breast-feeding older children had estimated mean DHA intakes of 0.02 g/day (P = 0.74). CONCLUSIONS: Rural Bangladeshi children 24 to 48 months old, and especially those who have discontinued breast-feeding, may benefit from increased fat consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • breast-feeding
  • docosahexaenoic acid
  • polyunsaturated fatty acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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