Dietary intakes of Canadian women age 18 to 34 years in the 1990s
Dolega-Cieszkowski, Jadwiga Helena
Nutrition monitoring is important for determining nutrient intakes of a population but trend evaluation requires greater than two points. This thesis provides national mean nutrient intake estimates of Canadians aged 18 to 74 based on published 1990s provincial nutrition surveys that fall between the Nutrition Canada Survey (1970/72) and Canadian Community Health Survey (2004). The focus of this thesis was on four key nutrients (calcium, iron, folate, and vitamin C) reported by childbearing age women. Objectives included examining data for temporal or geographic patterns; reviewing for similarities to 1970/72; and assessing intake adequacy using Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). Estimates were derived from 24-hour recall data reported by 16,915 adults of nine provinces, excluding Manitoba. Provincial group mean nutrient intakes were population-weighted using the Canadian census appropriate to the data collection years and totaled in proportion to provincial population size. The eight adult age and gender groups were then called the Province-derived Nutrition Survey (PNS). A temporal folate trend was noted as 1998 folate fortification doubled intake for the female population. In terms of geography, calcium intake appeared higher in British Columbia compared to Newfoundland. Nutrient intake declined with age except for some micronutrients associated with fruit/vegetables. Nutrient density indicated that the quality of women’s diets improved with age. Nutrients which appeared inadequate for childbearing age women included fibre, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and calcium. Micronutrients that were below AI or RDA values suggest plant-based food intake was inadequate. Nutrient density showed that diet quality had improved since Nutrition Canada however, increased efforts are required to improve dietary intake further. This thesis provides Canada’s most recent comprehensive national nutrient intakes and a point with which to observe change. Intake in the 1990s compared to the previous Nutrition Canada Survey (NCS) showed that many nutrients had increased but education efforts did not appear to have resulted in optimum intake. Fortification and food consumption habits influenced which foods were the primary micronutrient sources, e.g., fortification with folic acid. While calcium and folate intake was higher in the 1990s compared to the NCS, these increases did not bring young women to their desired intake. When the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey cycle 2.2 (nutrition) is published, it could be compared to the PNS to confirm whether these patterns are trends.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorWhiting, Susan J.
Copyright DateMarch 2007