34% of children and adolescents use dietary supplements: Stu
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In 2017 and 2018, approximately one-third of children and adolescents used a dietary supplement, according to study findings, a similar rate to what has been observed in recent years.

Researchers analyzed the most recent available data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for patients aged 19 years or younger. A total of 3,683 participants were included in the study. 34% had taken a dietary supplement in the past 30 days, and reported use was higher among females than males (37.3% vs. 30.8%).

Prior studies have shown that dietary supplements may help to mitigate nutrient shortfalls but may also lead to nutrient intake above recommended upper limits. Children aged 2 to 5 years were most likely to use dietary supplements (43.3%), followed by those aged 6 to 11 years (37.5%), 12 to 19 years (29.7%) and younger 2 years (21.8%).

Comparing the data with previous survey, the authors reported a significant increase in usage among those aged 12 to 19 years, from 22.1% to 29.7%. Among all age groups, the use of two or more dietary supplements increased from 4.3% vs. 7.1%. Among those aged 2 to 5 years, it increased from 6.8% to 8.3%, and among those aged 12 to 19 years, it increased from 3.2% to 8.5%.

The AAP offers guidance that pediatric health care providers inquire about dietary supplement use among patients to allow for informed discussion and assessment of these products. This seems especially relevant given one-third of children and adolescents take at least one dietary supplement and the number taking more than one dietary supplement has increased over the past decade.

The authors reported that the most widely used dietary supplement were multivitamin-minerals at 23.8%. The prevalence of use of single-ingredient vitamin D (3.6%), single-ingredient vitamin C (3%), probiotic (1.8%), melatonin (1.3%), omega-3 fatty acid (1.3%), botanical (1.1%) and multivitamin (1%) products all met or exceeded 1% of use. Product use by all age group differed.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6943a1.htm