What was the quality of diets among youth in the United States and how did it change between 1999 and 2016?
In this serial cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative data from 31 420 youth, diet quality modestly improved from 1999-2000 to 2015-2016 based on validated dietary quality scores. The estimated proportion of children with poor-quality diet significantly decreased (from 76.8% to 56.1%), the estimated proportion with intermediate quality diet significantly increased (from 23.2% to 43.7%), and the estimated proportion with an ideal quality significantly increased but remained low (from 0.07% to 0.25%).
From 1999 to 2016, the estimated overall diet quality of US youth modestly improved, but more than half of children still had poor-quality diets.
Prior studies of dietary trends among US youth have evaluated major macronutrients or only a few foods or have used older data.