Bell, Ronny A., Sara A. Quandt, John G. Spangler, and L. Douglas Case. “Dietary calcium intake and supplement use among older African American, white, and Native American women in a rural Southeastern community.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 106.6 (June 2002): 844 (4 pages).
This study was undertaken because of the high incidence of osteoporosis and osteopenia in the United States, the fact that adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D (which can prevent or delay these conditions) is often low, and the lack of data on incidence of these two conditions among African American and Native American women.
The article reports on the Robeson County Osteoporosis Screening study, which recruited 240 women who were 60 or older (almost equally divided among whites, African Americans, and Native Americans). Research assistants gathered two height and weight measurements as well as data on the women's medical history, diet, medication use, demographics, and use of alcohol and tobacco. Participants also completed the Oregon Dairy Council's Calcium Score Sheet and were asked whether they took a multivitamin, vitamin D supplement, and/or a calcium supplement every day or every other day.
Results showed that, overall, the participants' dietary calcium intake was low. White women were found to consume significantly more calcium than Native Americans and more (but not at a statistically significant level) than African Americans. White women were also more likely to take calcium supplements. African American women consumed twice as many foods in the 100 mg/serving and 50 mg/serving food groups as Native American women. Only 6% of participants consumed over 1,000 mg/day of calcium, putting all three ethnic groups at risk for osteoporosis.
Table 1 shows demographics , health characteristics, and use of multivitamins, calcium supplements, and vitamin D supplements by ethnic group. Table 2 shows servings consumed per week of various high-calcium foods for each ethnic group.