Adolescents need good nutrition, both to grow to their full potential and to decrease their risk of obesity and chronic diseases in adolescence and later life. The Food Habits of Canadians study provides data on the important food sources of energy and nutrients in a sample of Canadian teenagers. One 24-hour recall was obtained for 178 teenagers living in households participating in a national survey of 1,543 adults. Foods were categorized into 51 groups, and ranked according to contribution of key nutrients, energy, and fibre. Top contributors to energy and other nutrients included foods of low nutrient density (cakes/cookies/pastries, carbonated beverages, sugars/jams/syrups, and salty snacks). A high intake of nutrient-poor foods, particularly high-sugar beverages, is a concern for this sample of Canadian teenagers.
To quantify patterns of Natural Health Product (NHP) use in Canada.
The Food Habits of Canadians surveyed 1,543 Canadian adults using a 24-hour recall to record dietary supplements. Prevalence of use by user profile was examined.
Forty-six percent of women and 33% of men reported taking at least one Natural Health Product with a mean of 2.3 among users. The highest prevalence of supplement use, 57%, occurred among women aged 50-65. Supplement users were older, less likely to smoke and perceived their health as better than non-users. Among supplement users, men had higher rates of use of garlic and vitamin C while women used iron, calcium, B complex, evening primrose oil and glucosamine sulfate.
Supplement use by Canadians, at 38% for nutrients and 15% for herbal products, was similar to the rate of uses in the U.S., although differences in the reporting of types of supplements underline aspects of consumer behaviour as well as methodological issues specific to NHPs. Investigation of the use of NHPs in the healthcare setting is important given the widespread use and the potential health care consequences associated with supplement use.
Food sources of nutrients in the Canadian diet were explored. Knowledge of these sources is important to public health professionals and to those in clinical practice.
Using data from the Food Habits of Canadians study, we investigated nutrient sources from detailed food groupings in a sample of 1,543 adults (971 women, 572 men) from across Canada. Subjects were interviewed by trained dietitians. At the time of the interview, a sociodemographic questionnaire and a 24-hour dietary recall were completed.
The response rate was 30%. Subjects aged 18 to 34 reported eating more prepared and convenience foods than did those aged 35 to 65. Energy was contributed mainly by breads, pasta, rice, grains, and fluid milk. Protein intake was primarily derived from meat and dairy products; legumes, nuts, seeds, and eggs were not high contributors. For men aged 35 to 65 and women aged 18 to 65, butter, margarine, and oil were the primary fat sources; they were the second most common source for men aged 18 to 34. Fibre was provided by foods that are not usually considered good sources, but because of the large total consumption of these foods, they are important in Canadians' diet. The main source of calcium was dairy products, and iron came mainly from non-heme sources.
We must understand the contributions of foods to nutrients, and distinguish "important" sources of nutrients (those consumed by many in substantial amounts) from "good" sources (foods rich in particular nutrients, whether eaten or not).
To examine the role of dietary supplements in improving total nutrient intakes in adults.
Dietitian-administered 24-hour recalls (of intake including supplements) were conducted in 1997 and 1998. Supplement users were categorized into groups based on the types of supplements used and nutrient intake was examined.
Using a multistage, stratified random sampling, 1,530 Canadian adults aged 19 to 65 years were surveyed.
Intakes from diet, supplements, and diet plus supplements were examined by age/gender stratification.
Supplement users had dietary intakes, from food alone, similar to nonusers with mean intakes in some age/sex groups below the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)/Adequate Intake (AI) for iron, calcium, and folate. Multivitamin users had mean intakes (from diet plus supplement) of folate above the RDA and iron intakes also increased to RDA levels among women aged 19 to 50 years. Calcium supplement users had lower calcium and vitamin D intakes than nonusers from diet alone in some age/sex groups. Calcium tablets increased mean calcium intakes to AI levels among all age/sex groups. Many supplement users exceeded the new Upper Limits of safe intake; 47% in the case of niacin.
Supplements are commonly used and can help some persons adhere to Dietary Reference Intake recommendations concerning intake of folate, calcium, vitamin D. and iron. We found multivitamin users to have higher total intakes of folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D. Also, targeted use of calcium supplements effectively enhanced intakes. However, concurrent vitamin D supplementation is important and awareness of product composition with respect to Upper Limits is essential.