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Dietary Supplement Use Is More Prevalent Than Reported By National Surveys

April 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) have tended to underreport use of dietary supplements in the U.S., according to a study, because they often ignore occasional and seasonal use. In fact, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of adult Americans could be supplement users, and more than half (53 percent) are regular users. One of the researchers called dietary supplement usage “a mainstream practice”. Supplement users do not use these products as a way to avoid eating right or exercising, researchers said. In fact, they are “health conscious individuals trying to do all the right things to be healthy”. They said the NHANES surveys are faulty because they capture usage only in the 30 days prior to the respondents’ interviews.
Annette Dickinson et al., "Consumer Usage and Reasons for Using Dietary Supplements: Report of a Series of Surveys", Taylor & Francis Online, April 14, 2014, © Informa UK Limited
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