Purpose: In this study, the Dietary Reference Intake standards were used to evaluate the prevalence of inadequate intakes of micronutrients in obese and non-obese youth.
Methods: Dietary intake was analyzed with a dietary history taken by a registered dietitian. The obese group (n=156) had a body mass index (BMI) above the 95th percentile for age and sex. The non-obese group (n=90) was between the tenth and 85th BMI percentiles.
Results: In the obese subjects, the prevalence of inadequate intakes was 81% for vitamin E and 27% for magnesium; the proportions with intakes below the Adequate Intakes (AIs) for calcium and vitamin D were 55% and 46%, respectively. The obese children consumed 124% of estimated need for energy, 32% of which came from fat. The non-obese had a similar prevalence of inadequate intakes (vitamin E, 93%; magnesium, 29%; calcium, 51%; vitamin D, 44%). They consumed 107% of estimated need for energy, and 31% of energy came from fat. For both groups, all other nutrient intakes were adequate.
Conclusions: Even though children may consume an excess of energy, they may not be meeting all of their micronutrient needs.