High dietary supplement intakes among Flemish preschoolers.Appetite. 2010 Apr; 54(2):340-5.A
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of dietary supplement use among Flemish preschoolers and to investigate associations between dietary supplement use and socio-economic variables of the parents. Parentally reported 3-day estimated dietary records (n=696) were used to calculate mean daily nutrient intakes, using Software for Intake Distribution Estimation (Cside). Socio-demographic information and frequency of dietary supplement use were collected via parental questionnaires, including a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) (n=1847). The results from the FFQ revealed that more than 30% of the children used dietary supplements in the past month. Children of more highly educated parents and children of non-smokers were significantly more likely to use supplements than their counterparts. The types most frequently used were multi-vitamin/mineral supplements. Except for vitamin D, mean dietary intakes derived from foods alone was higher than the minimum recommendations for both supplement and non-supplement users. The youngest group of supplement users even exceeded the tolerable upper intake level for zinc (7 mg). However, for vitamin D, dietary supplements could help meet dietary recommendations for this micronutrient. In conclusion, the results indicated that dietary supplement use by healthy children who typically achieve their micronutrient requirements by foods alone could cause excessive intakes. Future studies should investigate potential harms and benefits of dietary supplementation use among preschoolers.