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J Nutr. 1997 Oct;127(10 Suppl):2085S-2093S.

Intake of nutrients and food sources of nutrients among the Navajo: findings from the Navajo Health and Nutrition Survey.

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Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta GA 30341, USA.


Diet has been implicated in the etiology of chronic diseases in many populations, including the Navajo and other American Indian tribes. This report describes the current nutrient intake of the Navajo and identifies the primary food sources of key nutrients. In the Navajo Health and Nutrition Survey, interviewers obtained single 24-h diet recalls from 946 nonpregnant participants age 12-91 between October 1991 and December 1992. Among various sex and age groups, total fat contributed 33-35% of energy and saturated fat contributed 10-11% of energy in the diets. Median fiber intake was 11-14 g/d. Median intakes of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B-6, folate, calcium and magnesium were below sex- and age-specific recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for men and women of all age groups. Intake of vitamin C was below the RDA for men and women age 20 and older. Median iron intake was below the RDA for women under age 60. Fruits and vegetables were each consumed less than once per day per person, as were dairy products. Fry bread and Navajo tortillas, home-fried potatoes, mutton, bacon and sausage, soft drinks, coffee and tea provided 41% of the energy and 15-46% of the macronutrients consumed. Recommendations to increase the intake of essential micronutrients in the Navajo diet are presented.

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