Nutrient intakes of Canadian adults: results from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)-2015 Public Use Microdata File

Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Sep 1;114(3):1131-1140. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqab143.


Background: Accurate estimates of the usual intake of nutrients are important for monitoring nutritional adequacy and diet quality of populations. In Canada, comprehensive, nationally representative nutrient estimates have not been available since the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)-Nutrition 2004 survey.

Objective: The objective of this research was to assess nutrient intakes, distributions, and adequacy of the intakes of Canadian adults.

Methods: Participants' first 24-h dietary recall, and the second-day recall from a subset of participants from the recently released CCHS 2015 Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) were used to estimate usual intakes of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals in adults [≥19 y, excluding lactating females and those with invalid energy intake (EI)]. Usual intakes by DRI age-sex groups were estimated using the National Cancer Institute method, adjusted for age, sex, misreporting status, weekend/weekday, and sequence of recall analyzed (first/second) with outliers removed (final sample, n = 11,992). Usual intakes from food were assessed for prevalence of inadequacy in relation to DRI recommendations.

Results: Canadian macronutrient intakes were within the recommended acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges. EI was 2154 kcal/d for males (19+) and 1626 kcal/d for females (19+). A high prevalence of inadequate intakes was seen for vitamin A (>47%), vitamin D (>94%), vitamin C (>29% for nonsmokers and >59% for smokers), magnesium (>45%), and calcium (>44%), whereas <25% and <40% of adults (19+) had intakes above the adequate intake for fiber and potassium, respectively. Canadians continue to consume sodium in excess of recommendations (74.8% of males and 47.6% of females).

Conclusions: A significant number of Canadian adults may not be meeting recommendations for several essential nutrients, contributing to nutrient inadequacies. These results highlight the nutrients of concern by specific age-sex groups that may be important for public health interventions aimed at improving diet quality and nutrient adequacy for Canadian adults.

Keywords: CCHS national nutrition survey; Canada; DRI age-sex groups; National Cancer Institute (NCI) method; adults; dietary assessment; nutrient adequacy; nutrient intakes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronutrients
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Public Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult


  • Micronutrients

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