Objectives : Adequate micronutrient intake is crucial for a variety of health outcomes. Micronutrient deficiency can lead to severe consequences for maternal child health (MCH) while excessive intakes of micronutrients such as sodium have been linked to non-communicable disease (NCD) outcomes. Having comparable estimates of micronutrient intake around the world is crucial for surveillance, intervention, and nutrition policy. Our objective was to estimate individual level daily nutrient intake for 18 vitamins and minerals from infancy through adulthood across 188 countries for 35 years from 1980 to 2015.
We collected and analyzed data from nationally representative or sub-national dietary surveys of individual-level intakes. In total, our model incorporated data from 1137 survey years of data representing 185 countries and 97.5% of the world’s population. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model, informed by additional covariates such as FAO food balance sheets and GENuS nutrient estimates, to estimate intakes of 18 micronutrients (Table 1) selected based on known or suspected causal links to MCH or NCDs. Estimates of mean intakes and uncertainty were generated jointly by country, time, age (15 groups), sex, urban or rural residence, and education (three levels).
Results : In 2015, important global variation was identified in dietary intakes of these micronutrients. Here we present findings for three key nutrients. For calcium, the global mean was 630 mg/d (Figure 1). Regionally, only high-income countries met the adult EAR of 800mg/d with a mean intake of 902 mg/d. For iron, we estimated a global mean of 13.4 mg/d (Figure 2). For Vitamin A, we estimated a global mean of 821 µg/d (Figure 3). Globally, notable differences include variations in intake between men & women, urban vs. rural residency, and high vs. low education. Additional detailed findings on other nutrients and population strata will be presented at the meeting.
By combining extensive global data, significant and specific variation was identified in optimal individual dietary intakes of micronutrients, including by region and population subgroups. These novel findings provide the best available global evidence to inform disease estimation, policy, and prevention efforts.
Funding Sources : Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.