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J Am Diet Assoc. 2001 Nov;101(11):1340-6.

Do adolescent vitamin-mineral supplement users have better nutrient intakes than nonusers? Observations from the CATCH tracking study.

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  • 1Frances Stern Nutrition Center, New England Medical Center and Schools of Medicine and Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, Mass, USA.



Describe whether users of vitamin-mineral supplements differed from nonusers in micronutrient intakes or in nutrition awareness.


Cross-sectional, observational study.


One thousand five hundred thirty-two students now in grade 8, who participated in the Third Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health tracking study and who also provided a single 24-hour dietary recall.


Mixed-model analysis of covariance was used to ascertain if supplement users had higher vitamin and mineral intakes from food sources, and to examine if supplement users had better nutrition awareness than nonusers.


The 24-hour recall showed that 17.6% of the students reported using vitamin-mineral supplements. Users reported a mean of 1.4 supplements, of which 47% were multivitamin or multimineral preparations, 37% were single nutrients, and 16% were combinations. White persons and residents of Minnesota and California were more likely to be supplement users. Users had higher micronutrient intakes from food sources for 16 of the 20 nutrients studied after adjusting for gender, race/ethnicity, site, treatment condition, and within-school variability. Users had higher scores on a health behavior survey for food choice and slightly but not significantly higher nutrition knowledge scores.


Vitamin-mineral supplement use is prevalent among eighth-grade students. Users have higher nutrient intakes from foods, higher total intakes for several micronutrients, higher nutrition awareness, and differ in their demographic characteristics from nonusers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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