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Data from What We Eat in America, NHANES 2007–2008 (USDA/ARS, 2010, Table 1), indicate that mean vitamin D intake by adult males ages 20 years or older is at the AI of 5.0 µg, but it is below the AI for those ages 60 years or older. For all adult females, mean vitamin D intake is well below the AI.

Excessive Intake Levels

The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for sodium is 2.3 g per day for adults. Reported mean sodium intake is substantially higher for adult males (4.4 g per day) than for adult females (3.1 g per day) (IOM, 2010). The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (USDA/HHS, 2010) recommended gradual movement toward an even lower maximum sodium intake—1.5 g per day.

On average, data from NHANES show that both male and female adults have intakes of saturated fat that exceed 10 percent of total calories (USDA/ARS, 2010, Table 5)—the maximum proportion of saturated fat calories recommended in the 2005 DGA (HHS/USDA, 2005). The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (USDA/HHS, 2010) recommended intake of less than 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat as an interim step toward reaching a goal of less than 7 percent of total calories from saturated fat.

NHANES data also show that cholesterol intake differs substantially by gender (higher for males than for females) and age (starting to decrease at about age 50). On average, males ages 20–69 years have a mean cholesterol intake that exceeds 300 mg per day, whereas mean intakes are below 300 mg per day for adult women and for men ages 70 years and older (USDA/ARS, 2010, Table 1).


The nutrient comparisons in Tables 5-2 and 5-3 are based on the noninstitutionalized U.S. adult population. However, the committee recognizes that the nutritional concerns of adults who are receiving day care in group homes or centers are not necessarily typical of free-living adults of the same age who can care for themselves. Inadequate intakes are likely more severe in this population, while the demands of chronic conditions and medications may increase the need for some nutrients. Disability and functional dependence, which are characteristic of adults in day care, often are related to disease. Disability in older men is usually related to heart disease and stroke; disability in older women is usually associated with osteoporosis and related fractures, arthritis, and circulatory diseases (Fried and Guralnik, 1997; La Croix et al., 1997). Some individuals entering adult day care may have compromised nutritional status because they have had

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