Almost a third of U.S. kids and teens take dietary
supplements (mainly multivitamins and multiminerals), experts report.
That news appears in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent
Since supplements are so widely used, supplement use oughtB to be
considered in estimating kids' nutrient intake, write the researchers.
They included Mary Frances Picciano, PhD, of the Office of Dietary
Supplements at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Picciano and colleagues studied the U.S. government's latest report on
dietary supplement use by kids and teens. Data came from national health
surveys conducted from 1999 to 2002.
The results show that nearly 32% of kids and teens used dietary
White children aged 4-8 from wealthier, nonsmoking families were the most
likely to use dietary supplements.
Kids who took supplements tended to spend less time than other kids watching
TV, playing video games, or using a computer for fun.
Relatively few children took supplements for a single vitamin or mineral.
Use of botanical supplements (such as ginkgo or ginseng) was rare.
"To truly assess the nutrient status and estimate the potential health
risks of U.S. children, we must include nutrient intakes from dietary
supplements as well as food,"B Picciano's team concludes.
By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
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