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Sources of Calcium among the US Population, 2005–06


The purpose of this research was to identify the contributions of specific foods to intake of calcium in the US population age 2 and older.

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We used the 2005–06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine the contribution of specific foods to intake of calcium. The dietary intake data collected in the survey were catalogued according to discrete food codes. For this analysis, food codes representing similar foods -- such as the various types of pasta dishes -- were combined to provide an indication of the contribution of distinct food items to intake of the dietary component being studied. That is, the food codes were sorted into 96 mutually exclusive food categories, termed specific foods.

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There are separate tables for the percentage and cumulative contribution of various foods.

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This approach identifies food sources of a given dietary component for the population which may/may not be the richest sources of the component. For that reason, these data may be most informative when the component is over-, rather than under-consumed. If a component is under-consumed, rich sources -- foods with the greatest amount per 100 grams -- may be more relevant.

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Key Findings

The top contributors of calcium for all persons are reduced fat milk (12.2%), regular cheese (9.2%), whole milk (6.1%), and pizza (6.1%).

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Suggested Citation

Suggested citation for information contained on this page:

Sources of Calcium among the US Population, 2005–06. Applied Research Program Web site. National Cancer Institute. Updated April 11, 2014. Accessed March 29, 2015.

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Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014