Nutrition to Improve Child and Adolescent Health

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Global and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 8029

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Research Centre, Sainte-Justine University Health Center, Department of Nutrition, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada
Interests: nutrition during and after pediatric cancer; nutrition and gut microbiota; pediatric cancer and cardiometabolic health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutrition, a complex science linking many concepts, including social, behavioural, biological and genetic aspects, is an essential player in the development and health of children and adolescents. Nutrition has a significant impact on healthy children, but also on those with chronic diseases and those in acute care settings. 

The goal of this Special Issue is to collect knowledge to better understand how nutrition can be used for prevention and treatment in pediatrics. We are seeking high-quality papers of various designs, including (but not limited to) qualitative studies, randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Studies in various fields of nutrition are welcome.

Dr. Valérie Marcil
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nutrition
  • pediatrics
  • children
  • adolescents
  • diet

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 2610 KiB  
Article
Machine Learning Algorithms for Predicting Stunting among Under-Five Children in Papua New Guinea
by Hao Shen, Hang Zhao and Yi Jiang
Children 2023, 10(10), 1638; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10101638 - 30 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1680
Abstract
Preventing stunting is particularly important for healthy development across the life course. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), the prevalence of stunting in children under five years old has consistently not improved. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to employ multiple machine [...] Read more.
Preventing stunting is particularly important for healthy development across the life course. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), the prevalence of stunting in children under five years old has consistently not improved. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to employ multiple machine learning algorithms to identify the most effective model and key predictors for stunting prediction in children in PNG. The study used data from the 2016–2018 Papua New Guinea Demographic Health Survey, including from 3380 children with complete height-for-age data. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) and random-forest-recursive feature elimination were used for feature selection. Logistic regression, a conditional decision tree, a support vector machine with a radial basis function kernel, and an extreme gradient boosting machine (XGBoost) were employed to construct the prediction model. The performance of the final model was evaluated using accuracy, precision, recall, F1 score, and area under the curve (AUC). The results of the study showed that LASSO-XGBoost has the best performance for predicting stunting in PNG (AUC: 0.765; 95% CI: 0.714–0.819) with accuracy, precision, recall, and F1 scores of 0.728, 0.715, 0.628, and 0.669, respectively. Combined with the SHAP value method, the optimal prediction model identified living in the Highlands Region, the age of the child, being in the richest family, and having a larger or smaller birth size as the top five important characteristics for predicting stunting. Based on the model, the findings support the necessity of preventing stunting early in life. Emphasizing the nutritional status of vulnerable maternal and child populations in PNG is recommended to promote maternal and child health and overall well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition to Improve Child and Adolescent Health)
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12 pages, 618 KiB  
Article
IGF1 Genetic Polymorphism and the Association between Vitamin D Status and BMI Percentiles in Children
by Sigal Eilat-Adar, Eias Kassem, Mahmood Sindiani and Sigal Ben-Zaken
Children 2023, 10(10), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10101610 - 27 Sep 2023
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Both the IGF1 axis and hypovitaminosis D play a role in childhood obesity, either as a cause or a causality. While some studies suggest an interrelation between vitamin D status, IGF1, and obesity, this mechanism remains obscure. The aim of this study, therefore, [...] Read more.
Both the IGF1 axis and hypovitaminosis D play a role in childhood obesity, either as a cause or a causality. While some studies suggest an interrelation between vitamin D status, IGF1, and obesity, this mechanism remains obscure. The aim of this study, therefore, was to explore associations between four genetic polymorphisms in the IGF1 axis in hypovitaminosis D-related obesity. The study included 116 pre-pubertal Israeli Arab children (52 girls), mean age 9.4 ± 2.6. Serum 25(OH)D was measured and anthropometric measures were obtained. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral EDTA-treated anti-coagulated blood using a standard protocol. Genotypes were determined using the Taqman allelic discrimination assay. The IGF genetic score was computed according to the additive genetic score model. A moderate-to-high negative correlation (r = 0.580, p < 0.05) was seen between the vitamin D status and body mass index (BMI) percentile of participants with high GS. Yet, no correlations were seen between vitamin D status and BMI percentile for participants with a low-to-moderate genetic score (GS) (GS ≤ 2). These results suggest that IGF1 genetic scores associated with elevated circulating IGF1 may indicate a tendency toward developing hypovitaminosis D-associated obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition to Improve Child and Adolescent Health)
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17 pages, 645 KiB  
Article
Nutritional Value of Meals Designed for a School-Based Food Aid Program and Comparison with Similar Commercial Products: An Example of Good Practice from the DIATROFI Program
by Matina Kouvari, Dimitrios V. Diamantis, Konstantinos Katsas, Vasiliki Radaios, Afroditi Veloudaki and Athena Linos
Children 2023, 10(7), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071268 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Providing meals of high nutritional value should be the principal objective of large-scale school-based food aid programs. This study aimed at highlighting the nutritional value of meals distributed in the school-based food assistance DIATROFI Program by comparing them to their commercially available counterparts. [...] Read more.
Providing meals of high nutritional value should be the principal objective of large-scale school-based food aid programs. This study aimed at highlighting the nutritional value of meals distributed in the school-based food assistance DIATROFI Program by comparing them to their commercially available counterparts. For the purpose of this study, n = 13 DIATROFI meals and n = 50 commercial products from the 2016–2017 school year, and n = 12 DIATROFI meals and n = 40 commercial products from the 2022–2023 school year were selected. The protein, carbohydrate, total sugar, dietary fiber, total fat, sodium/salt content, and fatty acid methyl ester profile of DIATROFI meals were estimated through recipe simulation and national/international food databases, and verified through laboratory analyses while the relevant information was extracted from the label for commercial products. As verified by laboratory analyses and in comparison with food labels, most DIATROFI meals had lower total fat, saturated fatty acid, and sugar content, and most had higher dietary fiber content during both years. Many recipes’ nutrient profiles also improved over time. DIATROFI meals present significant advantages over available commercial products. Such tailored-made school meals can prove to be advantageous in terms of nutrition profile compared to commercially available, which have yet to be impacted by food reformulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition to Improve Child and Adolescent Health)
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16 pages, 1229 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Diet after an Early Nutritional Intervention in Pediatric Oncology
by Mélanie Napartuk, Véronique Bélanger, Isabelle Bouchard, Caroline Meloche, Daniel Curnier, Serge Sultan, Caroline Laverdière, Daniel Sinnett and Valérie Marcil
Children 2023, 10(4), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10040667 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1638
Abstract
Pediatric cancer survivors may experience cardiometabolic sequelae over the course of their lives as a result of the treatments they have received. While nutrition consists of an actionable target for cardiometabolic health, few nutritional interventions have been documented in this population. This study [...] Read more.
Pediatric cancer survivors may experience cardiometabolic sequelae over the course of their lives as a result of the treatments they have received. While nutrition consists of an actionable target for cardiometabolic health, few nutritional interventions have been documented in this population. This study assessed the changes in diet during a one-year nutritional intervention for children and adolescents undergoing cancer treatments and the participants’ anthropometric and cardiometabolic profiles. A total of 36 children and adolescents (mean age: 7.9 years, 52.8% male) newly diagnosed with cancer (50% leukemia) and their parents underwent a one-year individualized nutrition intervention. The mean number of follow-up visits with the dietitian during the intervention was 4.72 ± 1.06. Between the initial and one-year assessments, there was an improvement in diet quality reflected by the Diet Quality Index (5.22 ± 9.95, p = 0.003). Similarly, the proportion of participants with moderate and good adherence (vs. low adherence) to the Healthy Diet Index score almost tripled after one year of intervention (14% vs. 39%, p = 0.012). In parallel, there was an increase in the mean z-scores for weight (0.29 ± 0.70, p = 0.019) and BMI (0.50 ± 0.88, p = 0.002), and in the mean levels of HDL-C (0.27 ± 0.37 mmol/L, p = 0.002) and 25-hydroxy vitamin D (14.5 ± 28.1 mmol/L, p = 0.03). Overall, this study supports that a one-year nutritional intervention deployed early after a pediatric cancer diagnosis is associated with an improvement in the diets of children and adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition to Improve Child and Adolescent Health)
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Review

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25 pages, 481 KiB  
Review
Nutritional Challenges among African Refugee and Internally Displaced Children: A Comprehensive Scoping Review
by Claire Gooding, Salwa Musa, Tina Lavin, Lindiwe Sibeko, Chizoma Millicent Ndikom, Stella Iwuagwu, Mary Ani-Amponsah, Aloysius Nwabugo Maduforo and Bukola Salami
Children 2024, 11(3), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11030318 - 07 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1011
Abstract
Background: Children’s nutrition in Africa, especially among those displaced by conflicts, is a critical global health concern. Adequate nutrition is pivotal for children’s well-being and development, yet those affected by displacement confront distinctive challenges. This scoping review seeks to enhance our current knowledge, [...] Read more.
Background: Children’s nutrition in Africa, especially among those displaced by conflicts, is a critical global health concern. Adequate nutrition is pivotal for children’s well-being and development, yet those affected by displacement confront distinctive challenges. This scoping review seeks to enhance our current knowledge, filling gaps in understanding nutritional and associated health risks within this vulnerable population. Objective: We conducted a scoping review of the literature on the nutritional status and associated health outcomes of this vulnerable population with the goal of informing targeted interventions, policy development, and future research efforts to enhance the well-being of African refugee and internally displaced children. Methods: This scoping review adopted Arksey and O’Malley (2005)’s methodology and considered studies published between 2000 and 2021. Results: Twenty-three published articles met the inclusion criteria. These articles highlighted a wide variation in the levels of malnutrition among African refugee/internally displaced (IDP) children, with the prevalence of chronic malnutrition (stunting) and acute malnutrition (wasting) ranging from 18.8 to 52.1% and 0.04 to 29.3%, respectively. Chronic malnutrition was of ‘high’ or ‘very high’ severity (according to recent WHO classifications) in 80% of studies, while acute malnutrition was of ‘high’ or ‘very high’ severity in 50% of studies. In addition, anemia prevalence was higher than the 40% level considered to indicate a severe public health problem in 80% of the studies reviewed. Conclusion: In many settings, acute, chronic, and micronutrient malnutrition are at levels of great concern. Many countries hosting large, displaced populations are not represented in the literature, and research among older children is also lacking. Qualitative and intervention-focused research are urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition to Improve Child and Adolescent Health)
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11 pages, 407 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Mandatory Food-Marketing Regulations on Purchase and Exposure: A Narrative Review
by Alanoud Alfraidi, Nora Alafif and Reem Alsukait
Children 2023, 10(8), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081277 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1503
Abstract
(1) Background: Several governments have enforced a series of actions to improve the local food environment and reduce obesity-related diseases in the population by implementing statutory regulations to reduce or ban the marketing of products that are considered unhealthy based on nutrient profile [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Several governments have enforced a series of actions to improve the local food environment and reduce obesity-related diseases in the population by implementing statutory regulations to reduce or ban the marketing of products that are considered unhealthy based on nutrient profile systems or them being high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS); (2) Objective: This narrative review is aiming to provide a comprehensive exploration of the available evidence on the impact of identified mandatory regulations restricting food marketing, including advertisements and packages on the exposure and purchase of HFSS food products, to help justify the need for these regulations; (3) Methods: Articles were retrieved by searching electronic databases, including EBSCO Education, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar from 2012 up to December 2022; (4) Results: A total of 12 articles were included in this review. Almost all mandatory food-marketing regulations have evidence in favor of reducing HFSS food purchases and exposure; (5) Conclusions: Protecting children and adolescents from food and beverage marketing through mandatory regulations is a crucial step toward tackling global childhood and adolescent obesity and securing a healthier environment for future generations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition to Improve Child and Adolescent Health)
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