The authors looked at the decrease in energy intake reported by various age groups. As people age, they consume less food, and therefore less calcium. Men's median energy intake declined by 35% from the 19-30 age group to the 81+ age group; from 2,668 kcal/d to 1,733 kcal/d. For women, median energy intake showed a 28% reduction from the youngest to oldest age group; from 1,844 kcal/d to 1,325 kcal/d.
Calcium supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years. Researchers found that 51% of all individuals ≥19 y of age were taking a calcium supplement. The percentage of individuals taking a calcium supplement increased in men from 34% in the 19-30 age group to 54% in the 81+ group. In women, these percentages rose from 42% to 64% across the range of age groups.
In an accompanying editorial, Susan M. Krebs-Smith, PhD, RD, and Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, PhD, RD, of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, caution that attention to the details of the methodologies used is warranted in interpreting the results of this and similar studies. Comparing the current study with a recent publication by Bailey and colleagues1, they show that the varying statistical procedures applied to estimate calcium intake from survey data can lead to different conclusions. Even though both research groups were working from the same data, due to the application of different statistical techniques and assumptions, Bailey and colleagues' point estimates for median dietary calcium intakes for supplement users and nonusers combined are much higher than those of Kerstetter and colleagues.
According to Krebs-Smith and Kirkpatrick, "The juxtaposition of these two papers provides not only insights into calcium intakes among the population, but also highlights the impact that different statistical approaches to dietary assessment can have on
|Contact: Francesca Costanzo|
Elsevier Health Sciences