Diet quality of children post-liver transplantation does not differ from healthy children

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Abstract

Little has been studied regarding the diets of children following LTX. The study aim was to assess and compare dietary intake and DQ of healthy children and children post-LTX. Children and adolescents (2-18 years) post-LTX (n=27) and healthy children (n=28) were studied. Anthropometric and demographic data and two 24-hour recalls (one weekend; one weekday) were collected. Intake of added sugar, HFCS, fructose, GI, and GL was calculated. DQ was measured using three validated DQ indices: the HEI-C, the DGI-CA, and the DQI-I. Although no differences in weight-for-age z-scores were observed between groups, children post-LTX had lower height-for-age z-scores than healthy children (P<.01). With the exception of vitamin B12, no significant differences in energy and macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, and fat), added sugar, HFCS, fructose, GI, GL, and micronutrient intakes and DQ indices (HEI-C, DGI-CA, and DQI-I) between groups were observed (P>.05). The majority of children in both groups (>40%) had low DQ scores. No significant interrelationships between dietary intake, anthropometric, and demographic were found (P>.05). Both healthy and children post-LTX consume diets with poor DQ. This has implications for risk of obesity and metabolic dysregulation, particularly in transplant populations on immunosuppressive therapies.

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