Food sources and correlates of sodium and potassium intakes in Flemish pre-school children

Inge Huybrechts, Willem De Keyzer, Yi Lin, Stefanie Vandevijvere, Carine Vereecken, Herman Van Oyen, Katrien Tilleman, Mia Bellemans, Mieke De Maeyer, Guy De Backer, Stefaan De Henauw

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The aim of the present study was to investigate dietary sources of Na and K intakes among Flemish pre-school children using multiple linear regression analyses.Design Three-day estimated diet records were used to assess dietary intakes. The contribution to Na and K intakes of fifty-seven food groups was computed by summing the amount provided by the food group for all individuals divided by the total intake for all individuals.Setting A random cluster sampling design at the level of schools, stratified by province and age, was used.Subjects A representative sample of 696 Flemish pre-school children aged 25-65 years was recruited.Results Mean Na intake was above and mean K intake was largely below the recommendation for children. Bread (22 %) and soup (13 %) were main contributors to Na intake followed by cold meat cuts and other meat products (12 % and 11 %, respectively). Sugared milk drinks, fried potatoes, milk and fruit juices were the main K sources (13 %, 12 %, 11 % and 11 %, respectively). Although Na and K intakes were positively correlated, several food categories showed Na:K intake ratio well above one (water, cheeses, soup, butter/margarine, fast foods and light beverages) whereas others presented a ratio well below one (oil & fat, fruits & juices, potatoes, vegetables and hot beverages).Conclusions Flemish pre-school children had too high Na and too low K intakes. The finding that main dietary sources of Na and K are clearly different indicates the feasibility of simultaneously decreasing Na and increasing K intake among children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1046
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Child
  • Dietary sources
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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