Americans are not meeting current calcium recommendations AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION Ma, J., Johns, R. A., Stafford, R. S. 2007; 85 (5): 1361-1366


Recent research has raised doubts about the efficacy of calcium supplementation in preventing fractures; however, adequate calcium intake remains important.Using data from the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we assessed dietary and supplemental calcium consumption among US men and women according to risk of osteoporosis and stratified by sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.We categorized risk of osteoporosis as high (having an osteoporosis diagnosis or treatment), moderate (aged >50 y), or low (aged 19-50 y). Main study outcomes included milligrams of dietary and supplemental calcium intake, likelihood of meeting national calcium adequate intake (AI) levels, and likelihood of taking supplemental calcium.Mean (95% CI) total calcium consumption was 944 (846, 1043) mg in the high-risk group, 821 (788, 854) mg in the moderate-risk group, and 846 (812, 871) mg in the low-risk group. Overall, 40% of the sample met the calcium AI amount and 48% reported taking supplemental calcium. After adjustment for daily caloric intake, the greater likelihood of meeting calcium AI levels was associated with [odds ratio (95% CI)] low [versus moderate, 1.5 (1.2, 1.7)] and high [versus moderate, 1.9 (1.3, 2.6)] osteoporosis risk, female sex [1.6 (1.3, 1.8)], non-Hispanic white ethnicity [versus nonwhite, 1.9 (1.7, 2.3)], and education beyond high school [versus less than high school, 1.5 (1.2, 1.9)]. These same factors were also associated with an increased likelihood of taking supplemental calcium, except for a consistent increase with higher osteoporosis risk.Many Americans--particularly men, ethnic minorities, and the socially disadvantaged--are not meeting the current recommendations for adequate calcium intake through diet alone or with supplements.

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