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Am J Public Health. 1997 May;87(5):740-6.

US trends in nutrient intake: the 1987 and 1992 National Health Interview Surveys.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley 94720, USA.



This study examined US trends in nutrient intake, using almost identical methods and nutrient databases in two time periods.


An extensive dietary intake questionnaire was included in supplements to the 1987 and 1992 National Health Interview Surveys. Dietary data from approximately 11,000 persons in each of those years were analyzed.


The total and saturated fat intake and the percentage of energy from fat declined among Whites and Hispanics, but only minimal changes were seen in Black Americans. The changes in fat intake were attributable principally to behavioral changes in frequency and type of fat-containing foods consumed rather than to the increased availability of leaner cuts of meat. Dietary cholesterol showed one of the largest declines of the nutrients examined. Less desirable changes were also seen. Cereal fortification played an important role in the observed changes in several micronutrients.


Educational campaigns on dietary fat and cholesterol have been moderately effective, but not in all racial/ethnic groups. Future campaigns should emphasize maintaining or increasing micronutrient intake.

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