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Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children
Information on foods as consumed was broken down into constituents of foods by the same process currently used by government to establish regulatory policy. This conversion process—the Dietary Residue Evaluation System (DRES)—expresses foods in terms of individual raw agricultural commodities (RACs).
Potential dietary exposures to pesticides are related to food and water intake. To identify the differences in exposures of infants and children compared with adults, intake data were grouped into various age categories. Consumption of water, human milk, and processed foods were considered separately in order to assess their respective contributions to dietary pesticide exposure for infants and young children.
Food consumption patterns for infants and children differ markedly from those of adults.
Children consume more calories relative to body weight than do adults.
Dietary diversity increases with age: infants and young children consume fewer distinct foods than do adults.
On a body weight basis, infants and young children consume notably more of certain foods than do adults.
Water, as drinking water and as a component of food, is not adequately considered in most consumption surveys.
Examination of intake data by age categories clearly illustrates the differences in consumption patterns that must be considered when estimating exposure of infants and children to pesticides; however, current information on food and water intake by age category is insufficient to produce credible exposure estimates.
Processed foods are predominant in the diets of younger age groups.
Knowledge of food consumption is an important consideration in assessing the risk to infants and children from dietary exposures to pesticides. Therefore, more focused, direct, comprehensive, and contemporary dietary information is required for infants and children. Because of the myriad and rapid changes in diet that occur during the developmental stages of life, intake data must be precisely divided into age subdivisions and the sample must be large enough to produce meaningful results.
A simple, uniform method needs to be developed for conversion of