A suggested approach for imputation of missing dietary data for young children in daycare

  • June Stevens University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Fang-Shu Ou University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Kimberly P. Truesdale University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Donglin Zeng University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Amber E. Vaughn University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Charlotte Pratt NHLBI
  • Dianne S. Ward University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Keywords: Nutrition, Day Care, Children, Missing Data, Methods

Abstract

Background: Parent-reported 24-h diet recalls are an accepted method of estimating intake in young children. However, many children eat while at childcare making accurate proxy reports by parents difficult.

Objective: The goal of this study was to demonstrate a method to impute missing weekday lunch and daytime snack nutrient data for daycare children and to explore the concurrent predictive and criterion validity of the method.

Design: Data were from children aged 2-5 years in the My Parenting SOS project (n=308; 870 24-h diet recalls). Mixed models were used to simultaneously predict breakfast, dinner, and evening snacks (B+D+ES); lunch; and daytime snacks for all children after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). From these models, we imputed the missing weekday daycare lunches by interpolation using the mean lunch to B+D+ES [L/(B+D+ES)] ratio among non-daycare children on weekdays and the L/(B+D+ES) ratio for all children on weekends. Daytime snack data were used to impute snacks.

Results: The reported mean (± standard deviation) weekday intake was lower for daycare children [725 (±324) kcal] compared to non-daycare children [1,048 (±463) kcal]. Weekend intake for all children was 1,173 (±427) kcal. After imputation, weekday caloric intake for daycare children was 1,230 (±409) kcal. Daily intakes that included imputed data were associated with age and sex but not with BMI.

Conclusion: This work indicates that imputation is a promising method for improving the precision of daily nutrient data from young children.

Keywords: nutrition; daycare; children; missing data; methods

(Published: 17 December 2015)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2015, 59: 28626 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.28626

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Published
2015-12-17
How to Cite
Stevens, J., Ou, F.-S., Truesdale, K. P., Zeng, D., Vaughn, A. E., Pratt, C., & Ward, D. S. (2015). A suggested approach for imputation of missing dietary data for young children in daycare. Food & Nutrition Research, 59. https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.28626
Section
Original Articles

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