Inadequacy of micronutrients, fat, and fiber consumption in the diets of Haitian-, African- and Cuban-Americans with and without type 2 diabetes

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2012 Aug;82(4):275-87. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000120.


Micronutrient insufficiency, low dietary fiber, and high saturated fat intake have been associated with chronic diseases. Micronutrient insufficiencies may exacerbate poor health outcomes for persons with type 2 diabetes and minority status. We examined dietary intakes using the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of micronutrients, and Adequate Intakes (AIs) of fiber, and Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) for saturated fat in Haitian-, African-, and Cuban- Americans (n = 868), approximately half of each group with type 2 diabetes. Insufficient intakes of vitamins D and E and calcium were found in over 40 % of the participants. Over 50 % of African- and Cuban- Americans consumed over 10 % of calories from saturated fat. Haitian-Americans were more likely to have insufficiencies in iron, B-vitamins, and vitamins D and E, and less likely to have inadequate intake of saturated fat as compared to Cuban-Americans. Vitamin D insufficiency was more likely for Haitian-Americans as compared to African- Americans. Diabetes status alone did not predict micronutrient insufficiencies; however, Haitian-Americans with no diabetes were more likely to be insufficient in calcium. Adjusting for age, gender, energy, smoking, physical activity, access to health care, and education negated the majority of micronutrient insufficiency differences by ethnicity. These findings suggest that policies are needed to ensure that low-cost, quality produce can be accessed regardless of neighborhood and socioeconomic status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Diet / ethnology*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Haiti / ethnology
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Iron / deficiency
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Vitamin B Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / epidemiology


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Micronutrients
  • Iron