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Table 2 Snacking pattern of children and adolescents 2-16 years from the Australian National Nutrition Surveys 1995, 2007 and 2011–12

From: Weekday snacking prevalence, frequency, and energy contribution have increased while foods consumed during snacking have shifted among Australian children and adolescents: 1995, 2007 and 2011–12 National Nutrition Surveys

Characteristic National Nutrition Survey  
  1995 (n = 2340) 2007 (n = 3637) 2011–12 (n = 2281) P-value
Prevalence of consumption at each meal and snacking period* % SE CI (95%) % SE CI (95%) % SE CI (95%)  
 Breakfast 89.4 0.6 88.1–90.7 95.6 0.3 95.0–96.3 91.5 0.6 90.4–92.7 < 0.001
 Morning snack 74.4 0.9 72.6–76.2 90.5 0.5 89.5–91.4 83.1 0.8 81.6–84.7 < 0.001
 Midday meal 91.4 0.6 90.2–92.5 94.4 0.4 93.7–95.2 90.0 0.6 88.7–91.2 < 0.001
 Afternoon snack 76.1 0.9 74.3–77.8 83.5 0.6 82.3–84.7 82.2 0.8 80.7–83.8 < 0.001
 Evening meal 96.6 0.4 95.8–97.3 98.1 0.2 97.6–98.5 94.0 0.5 93.0–95.0 < 0.001
 Late night snack 10.3 0.6 9.0–11.5 12.5 0.5 11.4–13.6 9.3 0.6 8.1–10.5 < 0.001
Any meal period 99.9 0.1 99.9–100.0 100 0.0 99.9–100.0 99.8 0.1 99.6–100.0 0.174
Any snacking period 92.5 0.6 91.4–93.6 98.1 0.3 97.7–98.6 95.8 0.5 95.0–96.6 < 0.001
Frequency of snacking     < 0.001
 Non-snackers (0 snacking occasions) 7.5 0.5 6.4–8.6 1.9 0.2 1.4–2.3 4.2 0.4 3.4–5.0  
 1 snacking occasion 23.6 0.9 21.9–25.4 13.7 0.6 12.6–14.8 15.5 0.8 14.0–17.0  
 2 snacking occasions 43.5 1.0 41.4–45.5 41.0 0.8 39.4–42.6 34.9 1.0 33.0–36.9  
 3 snacking occasions 18.3 0.8 16.7–19.9 25.5 0.7 24.1–26.9 26.9 0.9 25.1–28.7  
 4+ snacking occasions 7.1 0.5 6.1–8.2 17.9 0.6 16.7–19.1 18.5 0.8 16.9–20.1  
  mean SE CI (95%) mean SE CI (95%) mean SE CI (95%)  
Number of snacking occasions 2.0 a 0.02 1.9–2.0 2.5 b 0.02 2.5–2.6 2.5b 0.03 2.4–2.5 < 0.001
 2-3 years 2.2 0.06 2.1–2.3 2.7 0.08 2.6–2.8 2 .6 0.07 2.5–2.8 < 0.001
 4-8 years 1.9 0.03 1.8–2.0 2.6 0.04 2.5–2.6 2.6 0.04 2.5–2.7 < 0.001
 9-13 years 2.0 0.03 1.9–2.1 2.5 0.05 2.4–2.6 2.5 0.04 2.4–2.6 < 0.001
 14-16 years 1.9 0.05 1.7–2.0 2.4 0.06 2.3–2.5 2.2 0.07 2.1–2.3 < 0.001
Total daily energy intake (kJ) 8603a 73 8457–8748 8119b 49 8023–8216 7756 b 63 7631–7880 < 0.001
Energy during snacking (kJ) 2094a 38 2020–2167 2256b 26 2205–2307 2366 c 37 2293–2439 < 0.001
Energy contribution of snacking to total daily energy intake (%) 24.1a 0.3 23.4–24.8 27.7 b 0.3 27.2–28.2 30.5a,b 0.4 29.7–31.3 < 0.001
Contribution from macronutrients to total energy intake during snacking (%)     
 Protein 9.4a 0.1 9.1–9.6 11.7b 0.3 11.2–12.2 11.2b 0.1 11.0–11.5 < 0.001
 Fat 29.7a 0.3 29.1–30.3 28.2b 0.2 27.7–28.6 28.4a,b 0.3 27.8–29.0 < 0.001
 Carbohydrate 62.6a 0.4 61.9–63.4 59.8b 0.3 59.3–60.3 59.0b 0.3 58.3–59.6 < 0.001
Total sugars 38.9a 0.5 37.9–39.9 33.8b 0.3 33.2–34.4 32.0b 0.4 31.2–32.9 < 0.001
Total discretionary energy intake (kJ) 3680a 53 3577–3783 2931b 35 2863–2999 2911b 46 2820–3001 < 0.001
Contribution of snacking to total discretionary energy (%) 33.6a 0.6 32.4–34.7 37.9b 0.5 37.0–38.8 40.0 b 0.7 38.7–41.4 < 0.001
Energy from discretionary food during snacking (%) 56.5 a 0.7 55.0–57.9 47.3 b 0.5 46.2–48.4 47.9 b 0.7 46.5–49.4 < 0.001
  1. Different superscripts a,b,c denote significant differences between years (post hoc, Bonferroni, P < 0.001)
  2. *Meal and snack time periods were defined by time of day: breakfast occurred between 05.30–09.30 h (09.00 in 2007); morning snack 09.30–11.30 (09.00 in 2007), the midday meal 11.30–14.30, the afternoon snack 14.30–17.00 (17.30 in 2011–12), the evening meal was 17.00–21.30 (17.30 in 2011–12, 21.00 in 2007) and the late night snack 21.30–05.30 (21.00 in 2007)
  3. Discretionary foods are defined by the Australian Dietary Guidelines as foods and beverages not necessary for a healthy diet and are generally high in saturated fat and/or added sugars, added salt or alcohol and low in fibre [50]
  4. P-values for the comparison between the years 1995, 2007 and 2011–12. Chi-square tests were performed for categorical variables and ANOVA for numerical variables