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J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Jul;107(7):1113-23.

Longitudinal assessment of micronutrient intake among African-American and white girls: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT, USA.



Low intakes of micronutrients among adolescents may be linked to long-term health risks, especially in African-American girls. This report describes intake of key micronutrients relative to the Dietary Reference Intakes in a sample of African-American and white girls.


Longitudinal analyses used data from 3-day food records collected in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study.


Subjects included 1,166 white and 1,213 African-American girls (aged 9 to 18 years).


Estimated usual daily intakes of vitamins A, E, C, D, B-6, B-12, magnesium, folate, calcium, and zinc were compared to the Adequate Intake (for vitamin D and calcium) or the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) (all other micronutrients).


Usual daily intake of each micronutrient was estimated. For nutrients with an EAR, the EAR cut-point method was used to assess the prevalence of low nutrient intakes. Mixed models were used to identify age and racial differences in usual daily intake of each nutrient.


African-American girls consumed less vitamin A and D, calcium, and magnesium compared to white girls. Regardless of race, a substantial percentage of girls had intakes below the EAR: vitamin E (81.2% to 99.0%), magnesium (24.0% to 94.5%), folate (46.0% to 87.3%). Intakes of vitamins A, D, and C; calcium; and magnesium decreased across years. As girls aged, there was an increasing proportion with intakes below the EAR for vitamins A, C, B-6, and B-12.


Food and nutrition professionals should continue to educate adolescent girls, especially those who are African American, about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet for optimum health.

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