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First Study to Assess Micronutrient Intake by Body Weight Using National Database Inclusive of More Than 18,000 Americans
Release date: 1/12/2015

Northridge, CA (January 12, 2015) – A study published this month in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) concludes that body weight status is associated with inadequate intake of micronutrients, specifically that the higher an individual’s body mass index or BMI, the greater the nutrient shortfalls. The Pharmavite supported study compared usual intake for essential nutrients by body weight status in adult Americans using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2001-2008.

“Insufficiency of micronutrient intake is a global nutrition issue,” commented Dr. Victor Fulgoni, senior vice president, Nutrition Impact, and corresponding study author. “The NHANES data shows that a high percent of the population have problems meeting recommended nutrient intake for vitamins A, C, D and E, magnesium and calcium.” Nutrient shortfalls are nutrient intakes that do not meet estimated average requirements (EAR) (which is established by the Institute of Medicine).

While the majority of Americans are lacking adequate nutrient intake, the study revealed that overweight and obese adults are at a higher risk for nutrient inadequacy. Compared to normal weight adults, obese adults had about five to 12 percent lower intakes of micronutrients and higher prevalence of nutrient inadequacy. For example, 48% of normal weight individuals don’t meet the EAR for calcium, while 50% of overweight and 51% of obese individuals fall short of calcium requirements. Also, 45% of normal weight individuals don’t meet the EAR for vitamin A, while 50% of overweight and 52% of obese individuals fall short of vitamin A requirements. What’s more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.

“To our knowledge this is the first time intakes of micronutrients were assessed by body weight status using a large database, inclusive of more than 18,000 Americans, providing a nationally representative population-based sample of adults,” said Dr. James Brooks, Vice President, Science, Technology and Quality, Pharmavite, and study author.

Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are important for normal growth and development and body functioning. These must be consumed since the human body cannot produce them in adequate amounts. Micronutrient deficiencies in obese may influence several physiological body functions, impair the immune system and increase the risk of comorbidities.

In addition to making more nutrient-rich food choices, nutrient inadequacy may also be addressed by including dietary supplements, which provide important nutrients without added calories.

“The study showed that dietary supplement users had higher overall intakes and a lower prevalence of inadequacy of micronutrients compared to non-supplement users,” added Dr. Brooks. “This suggests the possibility that dietary supplements may help with filling the gap in nutrient inadequacies.”

Access the full study entitled “Comparison of Prevalence of Inadequate Nutrient Intake Based on Body Weight Status of Adults in the US: An Analysis of NHANES 2001-2008,” at Study authors include James R. Brooks, Pharmavite; Carroll Reider, Pharmavite; Victor L. Fulgoni, III, Nutrition Impact, LLC; and Sanjiv Agarwal, NutriScience, LLC.

About Pharmavite LLC:
For more than 40 years, Pharmavite LLC has earned and maintained the trust of healthcare professionals, consumers, and retailers by manufacturing high-quality vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements, and all-natural foods under its Nature Made® and SOYJOY® brand names. Based in Northridge, California, Pharmavite LLC operates as a subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. For more information, please visit

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i Garcia OP, Long KZ, Rosado JL. Impact of micronutrient deficiencies on obesity. Nutr Rev 2009;67;559-72.

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