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American Diet Falls Short on Calcium and Vitamin D, IDFA Says

Aug 10, 2009

IDFA reinforced the importance of calcium and vitamin D to a healthy diet in comments filed last week with Institute of Medicine's committee studying the dietary reference intakes, or recommended values, of these key nutrients. IDFA warned that many Americans, especially children, are not getting the current recommended levels of calcium and vitamin D, leaving them at risk for future health problems.

"We believe that calcium and vitamin D are important components of a health-promoting diet and that dairy products can be excellent sources of both nutrients," the comments stated.

The IOM Committee on the Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D has undertaken a two-year review in response to new research on bone health, as well as growing interest in the connection between vitamin D intake and lower rates of cancer and other chronic diseases. The Dietary Reference Intakes, or DRI, provide a scientific basis for developing food guidelines in the United States and Canada.

The committee held its first meeting earlier this year in March, followed by a second meeting last week. Four remaining meetings, which are closed to the public, are scheduled for September 9-10, October 22-23, November 19-20 and January 5-6, 2010. The committee expects to release its report by May 2010.

This study is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense and Health Canada.

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