AIM: Children with motor disabilities are at increased risk of compromised bone health due to impaired weight bearing. Poor nutritional status may be an additional risk factor. The aim of this study was to evaluate energy and nutrient intakes in children with motor disability.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifty-four children with motor disability (cerebral palsy in 59%) were included. Three-day food diaries were collected and analysed. The results were compared with recommended dietary allowances for age and sex.

RESULTS: The median age was 10.9 years. The median energy intake was 76% of the recommendation and <80% in 57% of children. Of the total energy, 17% was from protein, 32% from fat and 50% from carbohydrates. The medians were for calcium intake 142% and for vitamin D intake 76% of the recommendation; serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D concentrations were low (median 46 nmol/L). Children with low energy intake were shorter and lighter and had more severe motor disability than children with sufficient energy intake.

CONCLUSION: Insufficient energy and nutrient intake is common in children with motor disability. This may have adverse health effects especially when associated with low vitamin D intake. Energy and vitamin D supplements should be considered.