The agreed proportion was 1000 children in each age group of children aged 2-3, 4-8, 9-13, and 14-16 years with sex representation being fifty percent (2). However, adding up of more children occurred and the overall number of children who participated in the survey was 4,837 (10).
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The identification of survey samples involved the use of Postcodes to stratify data collected by capital cities (10). By Use of the Random Digit Dialing postcodes data was narrowed to suitable households to select a child from a family with indigenous children aged between 2 -16 years and found in developed areas.
In brief, during the survey, zinc was measured through two 24-hours recalls procedures; standardized, computerized face-to-face interview (CAPI) and computer-aided phone interview (CATI). A three-pass 24-hour methodology was employed to make a record of the beverages and food ate one day before the interview for the whole day. A food representation handbook and standard utensils guided the survey subjects on food amounts approximations (10). The participants above 8 years wrote their diet report while caregivers wrote for those below 8 years. The supplementary usage was evaluated in the 24-hour recalls and the dosage information was provided by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), additional labels, and interrelated websites. The data composed was translated into nutrient intake data from nutrient databases (2).
Analysis of the Methodology
The method of dietary recall has been employed in numerous countrywide surveys in other countries since it has elevated reaction rates for the participants. In Norway, the method was employed to study ‘No significant difference in the dietary data obtained were found when face-to-face 24-hours recall were compared to telephone 24-hours recalls’(6).
The dietary recalling method determines the difficulty arising from remembrance constraint (5) to obtain the required information in detail. Additionally, the method establishes face-to-face interviews, which creates a lasting friendship between the respondents and the researcher during and after the research. Besides, the software is applied during data analysis (13). Hence, the survey encouraged friendship and the incorporation of technology leads to better research results.
However, the method determines numerals of zinc inadequacy in children poorly as it gives the overall nutrient figures (5). As a result, the method does not determine the nutrients consumed by the children and other methods such as biochemical tests of body fluids should be employed (2, 11).
Zinc Nutrient Reference
The table below shows the results of zinc intake. It measures zinc consumption for boys and girls of ages between 2 and 16 as obtained in the 2007 survey.
- Zinc Consumption (Mg/Day) for Children and Adolescent
- Sex and Age Influence on Zinc Consumption in Children and Adolescents
Table 1: Proportions of Children and Adolescents Meeting the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), exceeding the Upper Level (UL) of Zinc Intakes (11), and meeting the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) (4)
|EAR (mg)||% Meeting EAR||UL (mg)||% Exceeding UL||RDI||% Meeting RDI|
In above table 1, the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) is the optimum amount of zinc needed by the body of an average person to support important physiological processes. The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) describes the everyday amount of zinc adequate to meet the health of an individual and the Upper levels (UL) of the zinc or the highest measures of zinc nutrient an individual can consume without health complications (3, 7).
Moreover, Table 1 illustrates the proportion of the children meeting the EAR, the RDI, and exceeding the UL in their consumption of zinc. There is a large number of children aged 2-3 surpassing the UL and meeting the RDI and the EAR, medium number of the children aged 4-8 exceeds the UL and meets the RDI and the EAR, and no child aged 9-13 and 14-18 beats the UL. In the age 9-13 and 14-18, the number of children meeting the RDI and the EAR is lowering with age and is poorer than for the younger ages. Furthermore, the amount needed to meet the EAR, UL, and the RDI of the children increase with age (4, 10).
Moreover, 92.3% of the females aged 14-18 years meet the EAR, and more than 89% meet the RDI zinc necessity. However, more than 25% and more than 13% of the males in a similar age range fail to meet the RDI and the EAR zinc requirement respectively (3, 9). Additionally, children in the age bracket 9-18 do not exceed the UL.
To conclude, the ages of the children increase the required amount of Zinc in the body as more growing energy is needed among older children (12). Sex also influences zinc requirements as men are more active than women (3).
Critical Analysis of Health Implications of Zinc
Effects of Zinc Deficiency (8)
According to the study carried out in India on the consequences of Zinc insufficiency, it illustrates that zinc shortage leads to many negative upshots such as cognition problems for children. This is evidenced by short memory damage due to zinc deficiency. This study was undertaken to assess Digit forward, Sentence repetition, Story, and Picture remembrances in little kids. For the offspring in this study, tests done were on spoken and non-verbal memory measurements. Based on the experiment, children who endured zinc insufficiency had troubles in athletic activities and cognitive purposes. The effects undoubtedly showed that children with low attentiveness and ingestions of Zinc experienced memory lapses and had poorer cognitive capabilities (8).
This study was performed on kids aged between 6 and 11 years. It was found that the causative factors in enhancing short-term memory and zinc ingestion are exceedingly interconnected. For that reason, zinc shortage supplies sluggish expansions of bodily utilities such as eyesight and smell functions. Consequently, zinc donates to the cerebral expansion of little kids. Moreover, disproportionate Zinc ingestion is detrimental to the body as exposed by scientific investigation and verification (8).
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Zinc tracks (9)
According to a study conducted in Melbourne to assess zinc intake in children aged between 2 and 9 years, zinc intake in a toddler is proved high due to their improved body activities. Toddlers were noted to have fewer zinc-related risks due to better feeding at the childhood age as based on the data collected through questionnaires, and the 24-hour recalls (9).
Besides, the questionnaire method of data collection allowed quick collection of data, which gave the respondent’s freedom to speak their mind as the researcher avoided personal details of any respondents. Hence, the questionnaire acquires better responses than interviews in research.
The study also established how hasty body expansion in children leads to higher intakes of zinc requirements. All of the 177 participating children were taking higher amounts of energy-giving foods to meet high requirements of the rapidly expanding body of the children in ages 2-9. As a result, the toddlers are at risk of conditions emanating from ingesting higher zinc than their bodies need in an attempt to meet levels of the highly needed zinc (9).
From the study, the obtained data are assessed through regression analysis, which is a perfect data estimator. It, therefore, leads to accurate estimates. Moreover, according to the study results, the zinc level demanded by the body increases with age, and men have a higher need of zinc than women, which supports the fact that an increase in age lead to increased amounts of zinc intake and men have higher zinc consumption than women (9).
Effects of Zinc on Premature Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) (1)
Based on an expressive investigative study that was carried out in the Pediatrics Department of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center (PDICRC) in 2000, there is evidence that zinc is needed for normal development and maturity of vital. The study involved children who were aged 2-18 and came from families with parents who had a premature myocardial infarction and it was noted that children who consumed zinc had lower chances of experiencing a myocardial infarction. Moreover, it was evidenced that zinc is an essential element that helps the body in the consumption of other vital minerals. Hence, zinc is recommended to be incorporated into the childrens diet (1).
During the study, the collection of samples was done through the randomization method to choose the samples perfectly. This gave the participant similar chances of being selected for the study (1). It also avoided the influence of the clinicians and the participants.
Lastly, from the study, there was proof of the effectiveness of zinc supplements as a way of boosting zinc in the body since zinc was supplemented with the samples and there were positive results (1).
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