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J Am Diet Assoc. 1993 Nov;93(11):1274-9.

Calcium intakes of Mexican Americans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks in the United States.

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  • 1Nutrition Statistics Branch, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD 20782.



To compare dietary calcium intakes from food in Mexican Americans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks aged 11 through 74 years.


Population survey data from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used to calculate calcium intake from a single 24-hour recall. These data were compared by age and sex between the five population groups. Food sources of calcium in the three Hispanic groups were also examined using 24-hour recall data.


The sample consisted of 11,773 non-Hispanic whites, 1,728 non-Hispanic blacks, 4,739 Mexican Americans, 1,076 Cubans, and 1,835 Puerto Ricans.


Mean calcium intake, percentage intake of Recommended Dietary Allowance, and, for Hispanics, food sources of calcium.


Means were compared within age and sex groups between the five population groups using a t test.


Calcium intakes from food in the three Hispanic groups were similar to intakes of non-Hispanic whites and higher than intakes of non-Hispanic blacks. Although dairy foods were the main sources of calcium for Hispanics, corn tortillas were important calcium sources among Mexican Americans. Women consumed less calcium than the Recommended Dietary Allowance in all age and racial or ethnic groups.


When assessing calcium intakes of the three Hispanic groups, ethnic differences in food sources of calcium need to be considered. Efforts to increase calcium intake in Hispanics also need to account for ethnic differences.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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