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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Goolsby, Susan
item Casey, Patrick
item Stuff, Janice
item Zaghloul, Sahar
item Weber, Judith
item Gossett, Jeff
item Simpson, Pippa
item Bogle, Margaret

Submitted to: Ethnicity and Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2005
Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Citation: Goolsby, S.L., Casey, P.H., Stuff, J.E., Zaghloul, S., Weber, J., Gossett, J., Simpson, P., Bogle, M.L. 2006. Consumption of calcium among African American adolescent girls. Ethnicity and Disease. 16:476-482.

Interpretive Summary: Low calcium intake is a major US public health problem. Adults who consumed low amounts of calcium when they were children are more likely to develop several diseases than adults who consumed enough calcium when they were children. These diseases include osteoporosis, colon cancer, hypertension and obesity. Calcium can be found in foods such as milk and other dairy products, leafy green vegetables, fruits and seeds. Overall, children who live in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) consume less calcium than other children living in the US. Only about one in five children aged 9-18 years old who live in the LMD consume enough calcium. Boys living in the LMD consume less calcium than other boys living in the US. African-American girls who live in the LMD consume less calcium than white girls who live in the Delta. Of the children who live in the LMD, three- to eight-year old children consume enough calcium. In general, LMD children whose families did not receive nutrition assistance consumed less calcium than other US children. LMD children whose family made $15,000 - $30,000 per year consumed less calcium than LMD children whose families made more than $30,000 per year. Children living in the Delta consumed most of their calcium from either 2% or whole unflavored milk. While most US children do not consume enough calcium, generally speaking, children in the LMD consume even less.

Technical Abstract: Objective: To determine the adequacy of calcium intake of children by demographic group in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD), and compare to national statistics. Design: FOODS 2000 was used to examine the dietary calcium intake of LMD children and compare it to U.S. children in the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by indivisuals (CSFII)1994-96, 1998. Setting and Participants: The sample of 465 non-Hispanic children 3 to 17 years of age who live in 36 counties of the LMD was identified by using list-assisted random digit dialing methods. Main Outcome Measures: The t-tests and z-tests were performed for within- and between-sample comparisons. Logistic regression, controlling for energy, race, gender, age, and nutrition assistance was used as a measure of the association of sample characteristics with meeting adequate intake (AI) for calcium. An algorithm was used to calculate the rankings of calcium consumption from food categories. Results: Children in the LMD consumed significantly less calcium (p<0.05) than children in the U.S. sample. Percent of AI for calcium decreased as age increased. Characteristics associated with consuming less than the AI for calcium include females, Blacks, those not receiving nutritional assistance, and older children. Less than 22% of LMD and 27% of U.S. 9 to 17 year old children met their calcium AI. Sources of calcium were similar across subgroups and all included milk as their top contributor to calcium intake. Conclusion: Interventions are needed to increase adolscents' calcium consumption, with particular focus on 9- to 17 year old African American girls.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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