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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Surveys Research Group » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309598

Research Project: What We Eat in America - Dietary Survey: Data Collection, Interpretation, Dissemination, and Methodology

Location: Food Surveys Research Group

Title: Calcium intake of the U.S. population, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010

Author
item Hoy, M Katherine
item Goldman, Joseph

Submitted to: Worldwide Web Site: Food Surveys Research Group
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/17/2014
Publication Date: 10/28/2014
Citation: Hoy, M.K., Goldman, J.D. 2014. Calcium intake of the U.S. population, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010. Worldwide Web Site: Food Surveys Research Group. Available: www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=19476.

Interpretive Summary: Calcium is an essential mineral required for formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, and has important roles in blood clotting, muscle function, and blood pressure. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identifies calcium as a nutrient to be increased in the diet, and the Institute of Medicine Estimated Average Requirements for age are not met by 42% of the population. Using nationwide data on dietary intakes from What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010, calcium intake of the U.S. population is reported by gender, age and ethnicity, and food categories that contribute to calcium intake of the population are highlighted. Data show the average calcium intake of the population was 1,029 mg per day. Calcium intakes of males overall were higher than intakes of females; however, when intake per 1,000 kcal is considered, intakes of females overall were higher than males. Use of calcium containing supplements was reported by 26% of the population, and provided an average of 521 mg to the total calcium intake of the supplement users. Food categories that contribute to calcium intake include milk and dairy products, mixed dishes, and grains.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this report is to present data on the calcium intake of the U.S. population and the food categories that contribute to total intake. The dietary intake data were from a twenty-four hour recall provided by 9,042 individuals ages two and older, except breast-fed children, who participated in What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010. Data show that in 2009-2010 the average calcium intake of the U.S. population was 1,029 mg per day. Since the 1994-1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, there has been a trend of increased dietary intake. However, 42% of Americans do not meet the Estimated Average Requirement for age, and calcium has been identified as a nutrient of concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Calcium intakes of males overall were higher than females, but when considered per 1,000 kcal, intakes of females overall were higher. Calcium intake is related to energy intake and the higher overall intake of males is most likely related to higher energy intake. However, some foods contain more calcium compared to others, thus the higher overall calcium intake per 1,000 kcal of females may be related to food choices. Milk and dairy products contributed 37% to total calcium intake, mixed dishes such as pasta dishes, macaroni and cheese, and pizza provided 17%, and grains such as breads, rolls, and tortillas accounted for 12%. A calcium containing supplement was reported by 26% of the population, which provided an average of 521 mg to the total calcium intake of supplement users. The information in this report is informative for health professionals, educators, and others who are interested in the dietary intake of the U.S. population. It is also useful to those who are developing education programs and policy initiatives to promote healthy food choices and for monitoring changes in calcium intake within the population at large.