Provincial nutrition surveys of adults were conducted between 1990 and 1999 in Canada. Eight reports have been issued, and one is forthcoming. The purpose of this study was to estimate the national dietary intake of adult Canadians, using the publicly available data. Group mean-nutrient-intake data from 16 915 adults, aged 18 to 84 years, from published provincial reports were collated by age and sex for each of 9 provinces (Manitoba data were unavailable). Using Canadian census data appropriate to the year of collection, intake data were weighted to provide 1 national intake value for each nutrient, by 8 age and sex categories. In general, the energy and nutrient intake of adults decreased with age. For every age group, with the exception of vitamin C, intake of nutrients by men was greater than that by women. On the basis of a comparison of recently recommended intakes (Dietary Reference Intakes), the nutrients that are of concern because of inadequate intake include dietary fibre, calcium, magnesium, and folate. The data demonstrate the impact of folate fortification on folate intake; the mean intake became twice that of prefortification levels. This study used group mean-intake data; therefore, we cannot make definitive conclusions about the prevalence of inadequacy for the nutrients. Because of limitations with some provincial response rates, our data should not be construed as representative of the Canadian population. However, because these surveys were completed between the 19701972 Nutrition Canada Survey and the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, these population-weighted data might be a useful point of comparison for monitoring trends in nutrient intake from food.
The objective of this study was to determine trends in calcium intake from foods of Canadian adults from 1970-1972 to 2004. We compiled the calcium intake of adults (aged >or=19 years) from foods from Nutrition Canada (1970-1972; n = 7036); 9 provincial nutrition surveys (1990-1999; n = 16 915); and the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey 2.2 (n = 20 197). Where possible, we used published confidence intervals to test for significant differences in calcium intake. In 2004, the mean calcium intake of Canadians was below Dietary Reference Intake recommendations for most adults, with the greatest difference in older adults (>or=51 years), in part because the recommended calcium intake for this group is higher (1200 mg) than that for younger adults (1,000 mg). The calcium intake of males in every age category was greater than that of females. Calcium intake increased from 1970 to 2004, yet, despite the introduction of calcium-fortified beverages to the market in the late 1990s, increases in calcium intake between 1970 and 2004 were modest. Calcium intakes in provinces were mostly similar in the 1990s and in 2004, except for women in Newfoundland and Labrador, who consumed less, especially in the 1990s, and for young men in 2004 in Prince Edward Island, who consumed more. When supplemental calcium intake was added, mean intakes remained below recommended levels, except for males 19-30 years, but the prevalence of adequacy increased in all age groups, notably for women over 50 years. The calcium intake of Canadian adults remains in need of improvement, despite fortification and supplement use.