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Many middle-aged and older Americans not getting adequate nutrition
Date:2/28/2009

March 1, 2009, St. Louis, MO Micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C play essential roles in maintaining health. As older adults tend to reduce their food intake as they age, there is concern that deficits in these micronutrients lead to medical problems. In a study published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers examined how well different ethnic groups met the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) through food intake and supplement consumption. The study determined that many middle-aged and older Americans are not getting adequate nutrition.

Using data drawn from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a prospective cohort study designed to investigate the prevalence, correlates and progression of subclinical cardiovascular disease, researchers examined over 6200 participants from 4 ethnic groups, Caucasian, African American, Hispanic and Chinese. Dietary intakes were determined from food frequency questionnaires and respondents were asked to provide amounts and frequencies of micronutrient consumption using label information from their supplements. These data were used to calculate whether the RDAs or Adequate Intake (AI) levels were being met. The large sample size and multiple ethnic groups in this population gave investigators enough power to examine interactions between supplementation and ethnicity.

Over half of the population took supplements, and supplement users were more likely to be older, women, Caucasian and college-educated. Calcium and vitamin C supplements were most common. Although dietary intake of calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C was similar between supplement users and non-users for both men and women, there were differences in median dietary intake levels between the different ethnic groups. Chinese Americans tended to have the lowest dietary intakes, particularly in calcium where both Chinese and African Americans h
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Contact: Lynelle Korte
jadamedia@elsevier.com
314-453-4841
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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