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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: CURRENT PATTERNS OF SUPPLEMENT USE IN ADOLESCENTS

Author
item Dwyer, Johanna
item Garceau, Anne
item Evans, Marguerite
item Li, Donglin
item Lytle, Leslie
item Hoelscher, Deanna
item Nicklas, Theresa
item Zive, Michelle

Submitted to: Nutrition Today
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2002
Publication Date: 5/20/2002
Citation: Dwyer,J., Garceau,A.O., Evans,M., Li,D., Lytle,L., Hoelscher,D., Nicklas,T.A., Zive,M. 2002. Current Patterns of Supplement Use in Adolescents. Nutrition Today. 37(3):124-126.

Interpretive Summary: Many adults take vitamin mineral supplements, but there is relatively little up-to-date information available on vitamin-mineral supplement use among adolescents. In the 1998 Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health Tracking Study (CATCH III), a school-based dietary intervention sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at four sites around the country, 1,532 eighth-grade students were surveyed and provided reports on their dietary intakes of supplements. Eighteen percent of the eighth graders surveyed reported using vitamin-mineral supplements on the 24-hour recall. Of those users, 47% took multivitamin and/or multi-mineral preparations, 37% used single nutrient supplements (mostly vitamin C), 16% used other combinations, 8% used supplements other than vitamins or minerals, and 4% did not provide enough detail to ascertain what was taken. Adult doses were reported more commonly than child doses. Users reported a mean of 1.4 supplements each of the eighth graders who took vitamin-mineral supplements, the majority took only one supplement (77%), 15% took 2 supplements, and only 8.2% (or about 1.5% of all students queried) took 3 or more supplements. Intakes rarely exceeded upper tolerable levels. Users had higher intakes for 16 of the 20 micronutrients studied, and these differences remained after adjusting for gender, race/ethnicity, site, treatment condition, and within-school variability. Eighth-grade students use vitamin and mineral supplements to a much greater extent than previously. More studies are needed to better characterize supplement users in childhood and its impact on child nutrition.

Technical Abstract: Many adults take vitamin mineral supplements, but there is relatively little up-to-date information available on vitamin-mineral supplement use among adolescents. In the 1998 Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health Tracking Study (CATCH III), a school-based dietary intervention sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at four sites around the country, 1,532 eighth-grade students were surveyed and provided reports on their dietary intakes of supplements. Eighteen percent of the eighth graders surveyed reported using vitamin-mineral supplements on the 24-hour recall. Of those users, 47% took multivitamin and/or multi-mineral preparations, 37% used single nutrient supplements (mostly vitamin C), 16% used other combinations, 8% used supplements other than vitamins or minerals, and 4% did not provide enough detail to ascertain what was taken. Adult doses were reported more commonly than child doses. Users reported a mean of 1.4 supplements each of the eighth graders who took vitamin-mineral supplements, the majority took only one supplement (77%), 15% took 2 supplements, and only 8.2% (or about 1.5% of all students queried) took 3 or more supplements. Intakes rarely exceeded upper tolerable levels. Users had higher intakes for 16 of the 20 micronutrients studied, and these differences remained after adjusting for gender, race/ethnicity, site, treatment condition, and within-school variability. Eighth-grade students use vitamin and mineral supplements to a much greater extent than previously. More studies are needed to better characterize supplement users in childhood and its impact on child nutrition.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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