Use of Highly Fortified Products among US Adults

Nutr Today. 2015 Nov-Dec;50(6):294-300. doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000129.


It is complicated to ascertain the composition and prevalence of the use of highly fortified food and supplement products (HFPs) because HFP foods and HFP supplements have different labeling requirements. However, HFPs (energy bars, energy drinks, sports drinks, protein bars, energy shots, and fortified foods/beverages) are popular in the United States. A web-based survey balanced to reflect US census data was used to describe their use in a sample of 2,355 US adults >18 yr in 2011 and trends in their use from 2005. In 2011, 33% of adults reported using HFP; use was significantly higher among males, African Americans, Hispanics, and more highly educated individuals (e.g. some college or more) and those <45 yr compared to non-users. Multiple product use was common. Of users, 46% consumed sports drinks, 37% fortified foods/beverages, 32% protein bars, 27% energy drinks, 24% energy bars, and 12% energy shots. For those HFP products as a group, prevalence of use was 36% (n=2039) in 2005, 35% in 2009 (n=2010), and 30% in 2011 (n=2355). Although use was significantly lower in 2011 than in 2005 especially among females, non-Hispanics, and those with high school education or less (P≤0.05). HFP, particularly energy and sports drinks, continue to be widely used by many U.S. adults.

Keywords: US Adults; consumer survey; dietary supplements; energy drinks; fortified foods; sports drinks.