Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/16/2003
Publication Date: 11/1/2003
Citation: Cook, A.J., Friday, J.E. 2003. Determination of dietary calcium sources: contributions from food mixtures. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. v. 103. p. 1513-1519.
Interpretive Summary: Nutrition monitoring is dependent on national food surveys such as USDA¿s Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII). Traditionally, total nutrients from food mixtures are placed into a food group based on the major ingredient of each mixture. This approach can misrepresent the importance of the group to intakes of specific nutrients. For example, the assignment of calcium from macaroni and cheese to ¿grains¿, will cause calcium intakes from grains to be overestimated while calcium intakes from dairy foods are underestimated. This study used FoodLink, ARS¿ research tool to translate data on food mixtures into information on ingredients and commodities. Comparisons of dietary calcium sources were made using four grouping protocols. Differences across the protocols were the extent by which calcium from foods (as eaten and traditionally reported), and/or from their ingredients and commodities were assigned to food groups. Translation of food mixtures into increasingly more discrete ingredients (commodities) through FoodLink provided insights about the importance of dairy ingredients (milk and cheese) from all food mixtures, including processed foods such as bread and cakes. This information will be useful for dietitians and nutrition educators when developing education materials aimed at improving the public¿s diet and for counseling individuals who fail to meet calcium recommendations and/or are lactose intolerant.
Technical Abstract: This study compared dietary sources of calcium by four grouping protocols which varied in the dietary source assignments of calcium from survey foods, from foods and ingredients, or from commodities. Calcium intakes for 18,071 individuals 2 years of age and older from the USDA 1994-96, 1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals were analyzed using SUDAAN. Mean calcium intakes were determined for all individuals and for individuals consuming two to three dairy servings and/or 800 mg or 1200 mg calcium daily as recommended by the USDA Food Guide Pyramid for their age group. The two-day average intake of calcium was 790 mg. Milk, cheese, and yogurt reported as separate food items contributed 42% of total calcium intakes; another 21% came from dairy ingredients in foods such as pizza, sandwiches, lasagna, cream sauces, and dairy desserts. The remaining 37% of dietary calcium was from grains, including enriched/fortified flour and cereals (16%), vegetables (7%), meat, poultry and fish (5%), fruits (3%), and other foods (7%). Within the study sample, 20% of all individuals met the Pyramid dairy serving recommendations and had intakes that met or exceeded the recommended amounts; their mean daily calcium intake was 1,416 mg. Another 1% of the study population met the dairy serving recommendations, but their calcium intakes fell short of the 800 or 1,200 mg needed daily. Almost 79% of individuals failed to consumed the recommended two or three dairy servings daily. Their mean daily calcium intake was 630 mg. Ten percent of the population fell short of the recommended number of dairy servings but met or exceeded the daily needs for 800 to 1,200 mg calcium; their the mean calcium intake was 1,016 mg. Results demonstrated that nutrient contributions by the ingredients of food mixtures can increase or decrease the importance attributed to dietary sources of calcium.