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Barriers to calcium intake in African-American women

Zablah, E.M., Reed, D.B., Hegsted, M., Keenan, M.J.
Journal of human nutrition and dietetics 1999 v.12 no.2 pp. 123-132
women, Blacks, calcium, nutrient intake, foods, nutrient-nutrient interactions, demography, nutrition knowledge, nutrition education, dietary surveys, food choices, dietary protein, sodium, osteoporosis, nutritional adequacy, low income households, Louisiana
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine dietary intake of calcium, intake of food components known to inhibit calcium bioavailability, demographic factors related to calcium intake, and the knowledge needs and barriers related to calcium consumption among low-income African-American women in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Methods: Ninety subjects were interviewed at local grocery stores. Calcium intake was determined using a 24-h recall. In addition, a survey was administered to the subjects to determine knowledge needs and barriers towards calcium consumption. Results: Subjects' mean dietary calcium intake was below the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), with 80% of the subjects having a calcium intake below 75% of the RDA. In addition, intakes of protein and sodium were above the recommended amounts. The general knowledge of the subjects concerning the role of calcium in osteoporosis was high, but this did not have an effect on the consumption of products containing calcium. The most important barriers to dairy product intake were perceived negative taste, perceived association with digestion problems and the perception that they already had adequate intake. Conclusion: Inadequate calcium intake in African-American women is affected by many factors including their lack of awareness of actual consumption. Nutrition education programmes need to address these factors.