and vitamin B6 either increased or did not change significantly, depending on age and sex. The nutrient intakes of girls did not appear to differ appreciably between 6- to 11-year-olds and 12- to 19-year-olds, except for 8 percent lower riboflavin and 10 percent lower calcium intakes in adolescents despite a higher calorie intake. Vitamin and mineral intakes for adolescent boys were higher than for the younger boys, and were most likely related to the overall higher calorie intake of older boys. Iron intakes in younger children (ages 2–5 years) increased between 1977–1978 and 1994–1996 and 1998 from 9.9 mg to 12.3 mg (Kranz et al., 2004).

Sodium intake data from the NHANES series reveal an increase in mean intake among all age groups of children and adolescents between 1971–1974 and 1999–2000 (Briefel and Johnson, 2004; Appendix D, Table D-8). For example, sodium intake in older adolescent boys (ages 16–19 years) increased 34 percent between 1971–1977 and 1999–2000 from 3,219 mg to 4,415 mg. Mean intakes increased 32–36 percent for children (ages 3–11 years) and younger adolescent boys (ages 12–15 years) and 45–68 percent for adolescent girls (ages 12–19 years). Assessment of sodium intakes and trends is difficult because sources include salt added in cooking, salt added at the table, and processed foods, and there are uncertainties associated with the exact sodium content of each source. Nonetheless increased consumption of processed foods and a greater frequency of eating away from home have contributed to the increased sodium intakes observed over the past three decades.

Nutrient Intakes Compared with the Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines

Usual nutrient intakes of U.S. children and adolescents (ages 1–18 years) from the dietary interview component of the NHANES 2001–2002 have been compared to the DRIs (Moshfegh et al., 2005). In general, less than 4 percent of 1- to 8-year-old children had nutrient intakes less than the EAR. Nutrients identified as potential problems in comparison with the EAR for boys and girls ages 9–18 years include vitamin A (13 percent to 55 percent),11 vitamin E (80 percent to >97 percent), vitamin C (8 percent to 42 percent), and magnesium (14 percent to 91 percent). Adolescent girls were at highest risk for having nutrient intakes below the EAR, especially for folate (19 percent), phosphorus (49 percent),12 vitamin B6 (16 percent), zinc (26 percent), and copper (16 percent).

Although the AI cannot be used to estimate the prevalence of inad-

11  

Lowest and highest percent less than the EAR for the age range.

12  

Also of concern for girls 14–18 years with 42 percent less than the EAR.



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