Topical Area: Nutritional Epidemiology
Objectives : Following dietary recommendations should ensure adequate consumption of essential nutrients, including key nutrients that tend to be underconsumed. The objective of this analysis was to determine if Americans are meeting nutrient needs, especially for shortfall nutrients, as defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, by assessing average food intakes with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2013-2016.
Twenty-four-hour dietary recall data from children age 2-18 years (n=5,670) and adults age 19-99 years (n=10,112) participating in NHANES 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 were analyzed using day one sample weights. Usual intake of nutrients was determined using the National Cancer Institute method with two dietary recalls. The percentage of population with inadequate (intake below the Estimated Average Requirement) or sufficient (intakes above the Adequate Intake, AI) intake of shortfall nutrients was determined using the cut-point method. With iron, the probability method was used instead.
Nearly half of the population does not consume adequate calcium (47.4 ± 1.8% children; 44.5 ± 1.1% adults). Even more of the population does not consume enough vitamin D (93.7 ± 0.8% children; 94.8 ± 0.5% adults). Non-Hispanic black children and adults had higher rates of inadequate calcium and vitamin D consumption than other ethnic groups. Large proportions of the population also do not consume enough magnesium (36.2 ± 1.4% children; 53.3 ± 1.2% adults), vitamin A (23.8 ± 2.0% children; 45.5 ± 1.1% adults), vitamin C (22.6 ± 1.6% children; 48.3 ± 1.3% adults) or vitamin E (67.2 ±1.3% children; 79.0 ± 1.3% adults). Approximately 2.95 ± 0.47% children and 6.02 ± 0.30% adults had inadequate iron intake. Only a small proportion of children and adults consumed more dietary fiber and potassium than the AI for their age groups. Additionally, 20.0 ± 1.1% children and 8.31 ± 0.73% adults had choline intake above the AI.
Conclusions : Large percentages of American children and adults do not meet recommendations for underconsumed “nutrients of public health concern” or shortfall nutrients. Encouraging children and adults to consume nutrient-rich foods, such as dairy, fruits and vegetables, can help close these gaps.
Funding Sources : National Dairy Council