Theresa A Nicklas, Carol E O’Neil and Victor Fulgoni III
The goal of this study was to determine the association of rice consumption with nutrient intake and diet quality in a nationally representative sample of US children. NHANES data were used to assess the association of rice consumption by children (2-18 yrs; N=8,367) with nutrient intake and diet quality. 24-hour dietary intakes were used to calculate usual intake (UI) of rice consumption, consumption categories were <0.25, ≥ 0.25 to <0.5, ≥ 0.5 to <1.0, and ≥ 1.0 ounce equivalent (oz eq) of UI of rice. Diet quality, covariate adjusted least square means ± SE, and, quartile trends across the rice consumption categories were examined. Significant positive trends (p <0.05) (β coefficient across rice categories) were seen for adjusted intakes of vitamins A (48.3 μg RAE), B12 (0.3 μg) and D (0.41 μg), folate (54.1 μg DFE), magnesium (7.8 mg), iron (0.8 mg), protein (2.0 g), thiamin (0.07 mg), niacin (0.7 mg), zinc (0.5 mg), and sodium (38 mg). Significant inverse trends were seen for intakes of SFA (-1.1 g), added sugars (-0.9 tsp), and total sugars (-3.3 g). Significant (p <0.0001) trends were seen in diet quality; diet quality scores increased 6.8 points between the lowest and the highest rice consumers. Significant positive trends (p <0.05) (β coefficient across rice categories) were seen for component scores for total fruit (0.15), whole fruit (0.23), dark green and orange vegetables (0.29), total grains (0.06), and meat and beans (0.37). HEI-2005 component scores for SFA (0.48) and solid fats, alcohol, and added sugars (SoFAAS) (1.21) were higher but sodium scores (-0.16) were lower. Consumption of rice should be encouraged to improve nutrient intake and diet quality. Nutrition education can provide ways to reduce sodium added to rice dishes.