Nutritional status of children and teenagers in relation to vitamin and mineral use.J Am Diet Assoc. 1986 Aug; 86(8):1033-8.JA
The use of vitamin and mineral supplements by children and teenagers in NHANES II was examined for relationships with demographic variables, dietary intakes from food, and biochemical measures of nutritional status and was compared with use reported in other nutrition studies. The number of regular supplement users decreased with age until about age 13, when the percentage of boys using supplements plateaued at about 10% but the percentage of use among girls increased. In general, children were more likely to receive supplements if they came from families with a household head who was white and better educated. Children from the lowest income level (poverty index less than 1.0) received supplements less frequently than other children. Among preschool children, supplement use by mothers and children was highly correlated. For most age groups, supplement users consumed more vitamin C from food than non-users. Users of supplements had higher mean serum levels of vitamins A and C and a lower incidence of low serum values for those nutrients than non-users. Fewer children took iron supplements than vitamin supplements, but most of the iron supplements were taken as part of a multiple vitamin plus iron preparation. There were no significant differences in either mean values for indexes of iron status or the percentage of low iron status values between children who received supplemental iron and those who did not.