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 nutritional adequacy of commercial baby foods is assessed from data derived from a longitudinal nutrition survey of 400 infants in Canada. On the average, the nutrient intakes from infant food meet or exceed the recommended daily allowances for most nutrients. Most infants would not be able to meet the minimum daily requirements for iron, B vitamins, or calcium if infant cereals were not fortified.