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Open AccessArticle

Do Chinese Children Get Enough Micronutrients?

National Institute for Nutrition and Health, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100050, China
Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne CH-1000, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(4), 397;
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese National Nutrition Survey 2012)
PDF [235 KB, uploaded 18 April 2017]


The aim of this study was to examine usual daily micronutrient intake of Chinese children based on data from the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey. We analyzed data from 4 to 17-year-old participants, who provided dietary data on three consecutive days combined with the household weighing method in 2011. Usual daily intake of each nutrient was estimated using a mixed effects model based on the China Food Composition published in 2009. The means, medians and percentages below Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) were reported for selected micronutrients, including calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin C. For sodium and potassium, the means and the distribution of intakes were compared to the Adequate Intake (AI) level. The average usual daily intakes of all micronutrients increase with age, and the intakes of boys were found to be higher than girls in the same age group. The average calcium intake increased from 272 mg/day in 4–6 years to 391 mg/day in 14–17 years, but the percentage of inadequate calcium intake remained very high (>96%). The prevalence of inadequacy of calcium was the highest among the mineral nutrients reported in this study. As the requirements of micronutrients increased with age, the percentage of subjects with inadequate intake increased in the 11–17 years age groups. Among 14–17 years group, the percentages of study participants with dietary intakes of calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin C below the EAR were 96.8%, 18.8%, 37.6%, 72.8%, 36.8%, 91.8%. 85.9% and 75.5%, respectively. Among 11–13 years group, the percentages of study participants with dietary intakes of iron, zinc and vitamin A below the EAR were 23.5%, 41.5%, and 41.6%, respectively. Thus, micronutrient deficiency is a problem in Chinese children. Nutrition education and intervention programs are needed to address these nutritional gaps. View Full-Text
Keywords: micronutrients; inadequacies; usual daily intake; China micronutrients; inadequacies; usual daily intake; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, H.; Wang, D.; Ouyang, Y.; Huang, F.; Ding, G.; Zhang, B. Do Chinese Children Get Enough Micronutrients? Nutrients 2017, 9, 397.

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