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Sources of Carbohydrate among US Children & Adolescents, 2005–06


The purpose of this research was to identify the contributions of specific foods to intake of carbohydrate among children and adolescents age 2 to 18 years.

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We used the 2005–06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine the contribution of specific foods to intake of carbohydrate. The dietary intake data collected in the survey were catalogued according to discrete food codes. For this analysis, food codes representing similar foods -- such as the various types of pasta dishes -- were combined to provide an indication of the contribution of distinct food items to intake of the dietary component being studied. That is, the food codes were sorted into 96 mutually exclusive food categories, termed specific foods.

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There are separate tables for the percentage contribution and mean contribution of various foods, stratified by age group, sex, race/ethnicity, and family income.

Mean Intakes of Carbohydrate & Percentage Contribution of Various Foods

Mean Intakes of Carbohydrate & Mean Contribution of Various Foods

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Key Findings

Among 2-18 year olds, soda is the top source of carbohydrate intake (11%). Other sources contributing at least 5% are grain-based desserts, yeast breads, pizza, ready-to-eat cereal, and fruit drinks. The major sources varied somewhat by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and income.

  • Rankings varied somewhat by age: For example, the top source among 2-3 year olds is 100% fruit juice (not orange/grapefruit juice) (11%). Other foods contributing at least 5% for narrower age groups include pasta and pasta dishes for 2-3 year olds (6%), 4-8 year olds (5%), and 9-13 year olds (5%); and dairy desserts for 4-8 year olds (6%).
  • Rankings varied somewhat by race/ethnicity: For example, the top source for Non-Hispanic Blacks is fruit drinks (10%) and a major contributor for Mexican Americans is Mexican mixed dishes (7%).

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Suggested Citation

Suggested citation for information contained on this page:

Sources of Carbohydrate among US Children & Adolescents, 2005–06. Applied Research Program Web site. National Cancer Institute. Updated April 11, 2014. Accessed May 4, 2016.

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Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014