Dietary calcium intake and overweight in adolescence
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Recent research has shown an association between low dietary calcium intake and obesity in adults as well as overweight in young children; however, this relationship has not been investigated in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between inadequate calcium intake and overweight in adolescents. The hypothesis of this study was that there is a negative correlation between dietary calcium intake and overweight in adolescents. The study population consisted of middle school and high school students (n = 102) in a local school district. The gender and ethnic distributions of the sample were as follows: 74% female, 26% male, 63% Caucasian, 16% African-American, 12% Hispanic, and 8% other. Dietary calcium and energy intakes were assessed using a previously validated calcium-focused food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for youths. Calcium intake was also assessed using a single question on daily milk consumption. The FFQ was administered by trained interviewers to groups of three to five students. Body fat was assessed using body mass index for age (BMI-for-age) and sum of triceps and subscapular skinfolds (STS). The mean reported calcium intake was 1,972 ± 912 mg/day, and mean reported energy intake was 3,421 ± 1,710 kcals/day. Reported calcium intake from the FFQ was inflated since approximately 75% reported drinking less than three glasses of milk a day. According to BMI-for-age, 29% were classified as at risk of overweight or overweight. Using STS, 39% were classified as overweight. Chi-square analysis using either method of dietary calcium intake and either method of overweight assessment did not show dependence between categories of calcium intake and level of weight or body fat. This study failed to show a relationship between dietary calcium intake and risk of overweight or overweight in adolescents.
Gerges, Amira Sami (2004). Dietary calcium intake and overweight in adolescence. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from