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J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Oct;22(5):340-56.

Calcium intake trends and health consequences from childhood through adulthood.

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  • 1USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Issues involving low calcium intake and dairy product consumption are currently the focus of much debate and discussion at both the scientific and lay community levels. In this review, we examine the following major areas of interest: (1). the role of calcium intake and dairy product consumption in chronic diseases, (2). nutritional qualities of milk and other dairy products, (3). trends in calcium intake and dairy product consumption, (4). current status of calcium intakes and dairy product consumption in children, (5). tracking of calcium intake and diary product consumption, (6). the impact of school meal participation on calcium intake and dairy product consumption, (7). concerns related to calcium-fortified foods and beverages and (8). factors influencing children's milk consumption. To date, the findings indicate that calcium intake and dairy product consumption have beneficial roles in a variety of chronic diseases; dairy products provide an abundant source of vitamins and minerals; calcium intakes of children have increased over time, yet intakes are not meeting the current adequate intake (AI) calcium recommendations; dairy consumption has decreased, and soft drink consumption and, possibly, consumption of calcium-fortified products have increased; consumption of dairy products have a positive nutritional impact on diets of children, particularly from school meals, and there are many factors which influence children's milk consumption, all of which need to be considered in our efforts to promote adequate calcium intakes by children. Based on this review, areas that need immediate attention and future research imperatives are summarized in an effort to further our understanding on what we already know and what we need to know to promote healthier eating habits early in life.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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