This study explores the contribution of food group intakes to micronutrient adequacy among 2379 girls in the National Growth and Health Study during three age periods (9–13, 14–18, and 19–20 years). Data on food and nutrient intakes from 3-day diet records over 10 years were used to estimate mean intakes and percent meeting Dietary Guidelines
) recommendations for food intakes and Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for vitamins and minerals. More than 90% of girls failed to consume the recommended amounts of fruit, vegetables and dairy; 75% consumed less than the recommended amounts in the “meat” group. The vast majority of girls of all ages had inadequate intakes of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins D and E. In contrast, they consumed >750 kcal/day (~40% of total energy) from the DGA
category of solid fat and added sugars, about five times the recommended maximum intakes. This study shows the importance of consuming a variety of foods in all five food groups, including those that are more energy dense such as dairy and meats, in order to meet a broad range of nutrient guidelines. Diet patterns that combined intakes across food groups led to greater improvements in overall nutritional adequacy.