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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Aug;108(8):1364-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.05.004.

Folate intake and food-related behaviors in nonpregnant, low-income women of childbearing age.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Services, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94143-0212, USA.


Information about folate intake among low-income women of childbearing age remains limited. This report presents results from a cross-sectional study of folate intake and food-related behaviors in a sample of low-income, nonpregnant women of childbearing age in California. One hundred fifty-seven nonpregnant, low-income (<or=185% federal poverty level) women of childbearing age (18 to 45 years) were evaluated for usual intake of natural food folate and synthetic folic acid, as well as specific food-related behaviors. Eighty-five percent of participants met the Recommended Dietary Allowance for folate, but only 37% met the current synthetic folic acid recommendation for reducing the risk of neural tube defects. Intake of naturally occurring food folate and intake of synthetic folic acid from supplements were positively associated with overall healthful food-related behaviors. Nutrition education that includes information about folic acid may be one way to improve folate intake and other healthful food behaviors among low-income women of childbearing age.

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