Micronutrient supplement use and diet quality in university students
journal contributionposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Adam Wiltgren, Alison BoothAlison Booth, Gunveen KaurGunveen Kaur, Sara Cicerale, Katie LacyKatie Lacy, Maree Thorpe, Russell KeastRussell Keast, Lynn RiddellLynn Riddell
Many national and international public health organisations recommend achieving nutrient adequacy through consumption of a wide variety of nutritious foods. Despite this, dietary supplement sales continue to increase. Understanding the characteristics of micronutrient supplement users and the relationship with diet quality can help develop effective public health interventions to reduce unnecessary consumption of vitamin and mineral supplements. Participants (n=1306) were a convenience sample of students studying first year food and nutrition. Data was collected via a Food and Diet Questionnaire (FDQ) and a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Supplement users were defined as participants who indicated consuming any listed supplement as frequently as once a month or more. Diet quality was assessed using a Dietary Guideline Index (DGI) score. Prevalence of supplement use was high in this study population with 56% of participants reporting supplement use; the most popular supplements consumed were multivitamins (28%) and vitamin C (28%). A higher DGI score was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of supplement use (mean: 105±18 vs. 109±17, p=0.001). Micronutrient supplement use was associated with a higher DGI score, suggesting that supplements are more likely to be used by those who are less likely to require them.