Processed pork is the most frequently consumed type of pork in a survey of Australian children
Pork represents a core food that provides key nutrients to the diet. Dietary guidelines recommend limiting processed meat intake because of adverse health outcomes. The aims of this study were to describe pork consumption, assess the contribution of pork to nutrient intakes, and compare anthropometric characteristics between pork consumers and nonconsumers in a survey of Australian children. We hypothesized that pork consumption will contribute to intakes of key nutrients and that the weight status of children who consume pork will be similar to nonconsumers. This study involved a secondary analysis of the 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Pork and pork-containing dishes were identified and classified as fresh or processed pork. The contributions of pork to nutrient intakes were calculated. Weight, waist circumference, and body mass index were compared between pork consumers and nonconsumers. Data from 4487 children were available for use. Of this sample, 2245 reported consuming pork, 14% (n = 310) of whom consumed fresh pork, whereas 93% (n = 2084) consumed processed pork. All types of pork contributed to intakes of protein, niacin, and zinc. In addition, fresh pork contributed to intakes of thiamine, long-chain omega-3, phosphorous, and potassium. Total and processed pork contributed 12.2% and 13.0% of sodium, respectively. There were no significant differences between weight, waist circumference, and body mass index in consumers and nonconsumers of total, fresh, or processed pork. In a survey of Australian children, processed pork was the most frequently consumed form of pork, suggesting a deviation from dietary guidelines.