Supplements ease knowingly unbalanced US diets

Six in 10 Americans acknowledge their diet is regularly unbalanced, according to a commissioned survey by the US health foods association Council for Responsible Nutrition, which also found 81 per cent or respondents said eating a balanced diet was important. Yet only 20 per cent said they eat a balanced diet every day.

Significantly, the survey revealed nearly half of American adults (46 per cent) take a multivitamin at least five days a week and 41 per cent take a multivitamin every day. More than 90 per cent of multivitamin users agree that multivitamins ensure they are "able to get the nutrients they need for a well-balanced diet and overall healthy lifestyle."

?The survey clearly makes the point that most people recognise they do not obtain the recommended amount of essential nutrients from their diet alone," said Andrew Shao, Ph.D., CRN vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs.

The survey also found women and older people are more likely than men and younger people respectively to regularly take a multivitamin.

2005 US Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines noted intakes of vitamins A, C and E, along with calcium and magnesium, are especially low in the diets of American adults.

"Effective health promotion includes regular exercise, having annual medical checkups, quitting smoking, eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains—and taking a multivitamin," said Cynthia Thomson, Ph.D., R.D., a clinical nutrition research specialist at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona.

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