375 foods (reported as RACs), for the entire sample of more than 30,000 people. In contrast, 148 RACs were reported for the 457 nonnursing infants sampled, indicating a relative lack of diversity in the diets of this subgroup. It is therefore important to monitor both the percentage of total diet and the multiple of the national average consumption for each food and for each age group to identify areas relative to dietary exposure to pesticides.
Several factors must be considered when evaluating the consumption data on infants. For example, caution must be exercised not to overestimate introduced foods to avoid estimates of intake that greatly exceed the consumption capacity of the infant. Furthermore, changes resulting from various processing techniques, especially fractionation (e.g., for soybean oil), must not be overlooked. Other influences include many of those noted earlier for nursing infants, e.g., region, socioeconomic status, and other variables.
Milk also predominates in the diet of 1- to 6-year-ld children, as shown by the values for nonfat and fat milk solids (30.4% and 13.4%, respectively). Orange juice, fresh apples, apple juice, and bananas together constitute 11.1% of their diet. The data also show that the diets of this group have become more diverse to include wheat, beef, sugar, eggs, and chicken, and more varieties of vegetables are consumed. The number of foods eaten above the U.S. average, and the multiples of their excess, have declined. This is most likely attributable not only to the rapid increase in dietary diversity after the age of 1 year, but also to a diminishing effect of the body weight conversion factor as average childhood weights approach average adult weights.
The diets of children from 7 to 12 years old have attained a greater level of diversity and show changes in proportion. Wheat flour, beef, and potatoes have reached higher percentages of the diet, whereas the intake levels of some foods (e.g., milk constituents and orange juice) have declined slightly. Many of the foods that constitute the greatest percentages of the diet are the same as those for 1to 6-year-old children, although there are differences in the rankings of the percentages of the total diet of those age groups. As shown by the multiples of the U.S. average consumption, the intakes by 7- to 12-year-old children are approaching those of the overall population.
Among teenagers from 13 to 19 years old, wheat flour, beef, potatoes, and eggs continue their ascendance in dietary predominance over fruits and vegetables with the exceptions of orange juice, apples, and tomatoes. Orange juice ranks fifth among the foods that constitute the highest percentages of the diet consumed by this age group. The multiples of the U.S. average consumption have declined, and for 10 food items, are below the national average.