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J Adolesc Health. 1994 Mar;15(2):149-54.

Characterizing nutrient intakes of adolescents by sociodemographic factors.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington 05405.



The purpose of this study was to provide a description of the current dietary intake of a large sample of U.S. adolescents and to identify sociodemographic risk factors for nutrient intakes that did not meet recommended levels.


The 1987-88 USDA Nationwide Food Consumption Survey was used to assess the nutrient intake of 933 adolescents aged 11 to 18 years. Analysis of covariance was used to determine the effect of the following on the nutrient intakes of males and females: household income and size, race, geographic region, degree of urbanization, and head of household status. Subject age was entered as a control variable.


Vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc were the nutrients most often consumed below recommended levels. In addition the females consumed low levels of phosphorus and iron. Percent calories from total fat and saturated fat and mean sodium intakes were above recommended levels for the majority of the sample. Females were more likely to meet cholesterol recommendations than males. Race and region affected the most nutrient intake variables. For the females, living in the south was a significant predictor for low intakes of several essential vitamins and minerals.


On average, the adolescents consumed diets that were low in several essential vitamins and minerals and high in some nutrients related to increased incidence of chronic disease. There were groups of teens who had dietary patterns that placed them at especially high risk, in particular the black and Southern females.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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