Use of dietary supplements in the United States, 1988-94
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      OBJECTIVES: This report presents estimates of the prevalence of use of dietary supplements among the U.S. population by various demographic and descriptive characteristics, the number of products taken, and types of supplements taken by broad product-type categories. METHODS: The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) is a nationally representative survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population, 2 months of age or over. Participants were asked about their use of vitamin and/or mineral supplements in the past month. Many also reported use of other dietary supplements. RESULTS: Approximately 40 percent of the population took dietary supplements during the month prior to the interview. Females (44 percent) were more likely to take a supplement than males (35 percent). Non-Hispanic white persons (43 percent) were more likely to take supplements than non-Hispanic black persons (30 percent) and Mexican American persons (29 percent). Children 1-5 years of age were major users of supplements. Among adults 20 years of age and older, there was a trend toward increasing use of dietary supplements with age. Higher levels of education, income, and self-reported health status were all positively related to supplement use. Sixty-seven percent of supplement users took only one supplement, with the majority of them taking a combination vitamin/mineral product (46 percent). CONCLUSIONS: A substantial proportion of the U.S. population takes vitamins, minerals, and/or other dietary supplements.
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      By R. Bethene Ervin, Jacqueline D. Wright, and Jocelyn Kennedy-Stephenson. Includes bibliographical references (p. 7-9).
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