Assessment Finds Populations Lacking in Essential Micronutrients

June 20, 2012

2 Min Read
Assessment Finds Populations Lacking in Essential Micronutrients

HEERLEN, NetherlandsThree-quarters of the population in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States do not meet the dietary intake recommendations of the respective countries for a number of essential micronutrients, according to a new assessment published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Based on large-scale, population-based national dietary intake surveys, scientists at DSM evaluated data using a traffic light system to measure actual intakes against national recommendations in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. A red light was assigned where more than 75 percent of the population has an intake status lower than the nationally recommended level. The results show in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, vitamin D has a red light status, indicating that at least three-quarters of the population have a poor vitamin D intake, and are not meeting recommended intakes. Vitamin D is vital to bone health and muscle strength, and it can reduce the risk of falls and fractures linked to osteoporosis by 20 percent. It is also essential for children in the prevention of rickets. Vitamin E was also branded with a red light in the United Kingdom and the United States, indicating that more can be done in these countries to raise intake levels to those recommended by national public health experts. Vitamin B9 (folate), which is especially important for pregnant women, was given a red light in Germany; vitamin A also received a red light in the United States. Of the countries monitored, the Netherlands fared best, with fewer red lights than Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The variation between countries is most likely due to differences in recommendations, levels of fortification and local dietary habits.

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