Nutritional intake in children with renal insufficiency: A report of the growth failure in children with renal diseases study

John W. Foreman, Carolyn L. Abitbol, Howard Trachtman, Eduardo H. Garin, Leonard G. Feld, C. Frederic Strife, Martha D. Massie, Russell M. Boyle, James C.M. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was designed to assess sequentially the nutrient intake in children with chronic renal insufficiency and its relationship to body size, the level of renal failure, and growth velocity. Methods: The nutrient intake from 401 4-day food records obtained from 120 children with renal insufficiency over a 6-month observation period was analyzed. The height and weight were measured at the beginning and end of the observation period. The glomerular filtration rate was estimated from the height and serum creatinine. Results: The mean caloric intake in these children was 80 ± 23% (mean ± SD) of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for age. Fifty-six percent of the food records obtained from these children revealed a caloric intake that was less than 80% of the RDA. Caloric intake expressed as the %RDA for age decreased with increasing age. However, the mean caloric intake when factored by body weight was in the normal range. There was no correlation between caloric intake and height velocity. The mean protein intake in these children was 153 ± 53% of the RDA. Further, 45% of the food records indicated a protein intake greater than 150% of the RDA. There was no relationship between the degree of renal insufficiency and caloric or protein intake. Calcium, vitamin, and zinc intakes were also low. Conclusions: Children with chronic renal failure consume less calories than their age matched peers, but the majority of these children appear to ingest adequate amounts for their body mass. This reduction in caloric intake occurs early in renal insufficiency. They also ingest inadequate amounts of calcium, zinc, vitamin B6, and folate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-585
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996


  • caloric intake
  • children
  • height velocity
  • nutrition
  • protein intake
  • renal failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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