To assess the food intake and to evaluate the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and food consumption of northeastern Thai children a dietary survey was carried out among 108 urban and rural 3-8-year-olds in Sakon Nakhon province. Energy and nutrient intakes were assessed by the 24 hour recall method and calculated with local food consumption tables. Urban children consumed significantly more eggs and products containing animal proteins than rural children. In urban areas the percentage of users of meat, eggs, and fruit was significantly higher than in rural areas
fish was consumed more frequently in rural areas. As compared with the FAO/WHO RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) all children showed a very inadequate supply of energy, calcium, iron (except urban children), vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. The mean daily protein intake was almost equal to or higher than the calculated requirements. Children of lower socioeconomic background showed a lower fat intake, a lower contribution of fat to the energy intake, and a higher contribution of carbohydrates to the energy intake than children from families with a higher SES. This study shows that nutrient intakes far below recommended intakes are common among the examined northeastern Thai children and of a serious nature, and that much more emphasis needs to be given to increase the energy or food intake rather than the protein content of their grossly inadequate diets.