Animal-source foods (ASF) provide nutrition for children and adolescents’ physical and cognitive development. Here, we use data from the Global Dietary Database and Bayesian hierarchical models to quantify global, regional and national ASF intakes between 1990 and 2018 by age group across 185 countries, representing 93% of the world’s child population. Mean ASF intake was 1.9 servings per day, representing 16% of children consuming at least three daily servings. Intake was similar between boys and girls, but higher among urban children with educated parents. Consumption varied by age from 0.6 at <1 year to 2.5 servings per day at 15–19 years. Between 1990 and 2018, mean ASF intake increased by 0.5 servings per week, with increases in all regions except sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, total ASF consumption was highest in Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey, and lowest in Uganda, India, Kenya and Bangladesh. These findings can inform policy to address malnutrition through targeted ASF consumption programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-319
Number of pages15
JournalNature Food
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2023


  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Diet
  • Nutritional Status
  • Educational Status
  • Eating


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