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J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):651-9.

Determination of the optimal number of dairy servings to ensure a low prevalence of inadequate calcium intake in Americans.

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  • 1Nutrition Impact, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many Americans are not getting the recommended amounts of calcium in their diet. Since dairy foods provide most of the calcium in the diet, the number of recommended servings of dairy products may need to be revised.

OBJECTIVE:

1. To determine the calcium intake of various age groups that met or exceeded the intake of dairy products recommended by the Food Guide Pyramid (FGP). 2. To determine the optimal level of dairy consumption that ensures a low prevalence of inadequate calcium (Ca) intake by Americans.

METHODS:

Using data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, 1994-96, 1998, (CSFII) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2000 (NHANES) we determined the calcium intake in individuals who met the recommended daily dairy servings as well as the minimum number of dairy servings required for the mean Ca intake of various age groups to exceed their respective Adequate Intakes (AI).

RESULTS:

Objective 1: Meeting or exceeding the FGP dairy recommendation led to calcium intakes that met recommended levels. However, very few individuals in all age groups met or exceeded the number of dairy servings recommended by FGP. Objective 2: Results indicated that in children 2-8 yrs, 2 dairy servings/d were required for the mean Ca intake (835 +/- 72 and 822 +/- 68 mg/d, in CSFII and NHANES IV, respectively) to exceed the AI. In children 9-18 yrs, 4 dairy servings/d) were required for the mean Ca intake of the group (1540 +/- 93 and 1518 +/- 86 mg/d) to exceed the AI. Similar data were observed in adults 19+ yrs, e.g., in adults 51+ yrs, 3 dairy servings/d were required for the mean Ca intake of the group (1241 +/- 53 and 1217 +/- 53 mg/d) to exceed the AI.

CONCLUSION:

Groups that met or exceeded the FGP dairy recommendations were more likely to have a mean calcium intake above the AI but had an average intake of about one serving higher than current recommendations. In individuals 9 yrs and older, 3-4 servings of dairy products are needed to meet or exceed the Ca AI and to ensure a low prevalence of inadequate Ca intake.

PMID:
15637213
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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