Science Inventory

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR CATEGORIZING YOUNG CHILDREN'S EATING BEHAVIORS

Citation:

Hu, Y., G G. Akland, E. D. Pellizzari, L J. Melnyk, AND M Berry. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR CATEGORIZING YOUNG CHILDREN'S EATING BEHAVIORS. Presented at ISEA Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, August 11, 2002.

Impact/Purpose:

The purpose of this research is to reduce uncertainties in exposure assessments of young children by improving EPA's ability to measure exposures in the context of aggregate and cumulative exposure assessments. The general objective of this research is to support FQPA children's exposure assessment efforts by improving procedures and reducing uncertainty in measurements for dietary exposure of young children, a critically needed area for improved risk assessment. Specifically, this research will evaluate a protocol and companion model for measuring or otherwise assessing the combined dietary intake of a young child as influenced by pesticides, or other environmental contaminants, which contaminate their foods during the eating process (indirect ingestion exposure). This research will continue to develop the important factors which are needed to characterize excess intake of pesticides by young children. Specifically, the research will measure pesticide surface transfer efficiencies for food contacts with surfaces and eating activity patterns of young children that define the frequency of contacts with contaminated surfaces. A series of reports/products are anticipated by the end of FY05.

Description:

Recent studies of total dietary ingestion of common indoor contaminants have demonstrated that young children's behaviors while eating can lead to a significant source of food contamination. The difference between children eating their food items with or without their hands which have come into contact with indoor surfaces contaminated by pollutants has been shown to be potentially significant, but has not yet been fully quantitated. Food items that are eaten with utensils will have less surface-to-food or surface-to-hand-to-food pesticide contamination compared to food items that are eaten with contaminated hands in contaminated environments. It has been observed from a recent field study that "messy" eaters have higher levels of contaminated food and urinary biomarker levels of diazinon as compared to "neat" eaters. "Messy" eaters had higher surface-to-food or surface-to-hand-to-food contact frequencies for most food items which resulted in higher levels of contaminated leftover food and higher urinary biomarker levels of the chemical metabolite under study. Determining the activity factor to categorize eating behaviors is one objective of an ongoing study to accurately model dietary exposure of young children. An intermediate objective is to use a surrogate food to measure hand-to-food transfers of pesticides to determine the effect of multiple touches. This will also be used to determine the activity factors that will distinguish three categories of eating behaviors.
Three categories of eaters, i.e., neat, messy, and in-between, are determined by analyzing videotapes of children eating. Statistical methods such as tree-based cluster analysis are used to identify other factors that affect children's eating behavior, including the nature of the food items, meal, children's age, gender, and general hygiene practices. Once these factors are identified, the ultimate goal will be to predict total ingestion for a child based on a dietary model, by collecting measurements of the contaminant on selected surfaces of the home and observations of the child's eating behaviors with surrogate food items. Pesticides will be measured from the surrogate food to determine transfers from surfaces and hands to the item to attempt to verify the categories of eaters.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 08/11/2002
Record Last Revised: 06/21/2006
Record ID: 61704

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

MICROBIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT DIVISION

CHEMICAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH BRANCH