Poster Topical Area: Nutritional Epidemiology

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 784

P20-078 - Dietary supplement use is higher among US children in higher income households compared to children in lower income households.

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: Dietary supplement (DS) use is associated with income. This study describes DS use by household income level, household food security, and federal nutrition assistance program participation status among US children.


Methods: DS use in the past 30 days was assessed by an in-home interview among children or their proxies (birth to 18 y, n=8,290) participating in the NHANES 2011-2014, a nationally-representative, cross-sectional survey. Household income level was categorized by % poverty income ratio (≤130, >130 - ≤350, and >350). Food security measured by the US Household Food Security Survey Module was categorized as food secure and insecure. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participation was categorized as participants, income-eligible nonparticipants, and income-ineligible nonparticipants. Descriptive statistics were estimated and compared using SUDAAN survey procedures.


Results: DS were used by 32% of children (32% of boys; 33% of girls), with most using multivitamin-mineral or multivitamin products (82%) and taking 1 or 2 products (94%). DS use increased with household PIR category (22%, 35%, and 45%, respectively) and was higher in food-secure (35%) than food-insecure children (22%); this trend was consistent across all sex, age, and race/ethnic groups. DS use was highest among income-ineligible nonparticipants of SNAP (40%), followed by income-eligible nonparticipants (28%) and current participants (20%). Similarly, DS use was higher among income-ineligible WIC nonparticipants (47%) than either income-eligible nonparticipants (36%) or current participants (26%). The most commonly reported motivations for DS use were "to maintain health (42%)" and "to improve overall health (34%)." Children in highest income households were more likely to report using DS "to supplement the diet" (30%) than those with either middle (20%) or lowest (18%) PIR households (P


Conclusions: DS use was higher among US children in higher income households, those in food-secure households, and those not eligible for federal nutrition assistance program. Motivations for DS use also differ by household income level.





Funding Source: NIH U01CA215834 and NIH/OD/ODP Office of Dietary Supplements.

CoAuthors: Alexandra E. Cowan – Purdue University; Janet A. Tooze – Wake Forest School of Medicine; Heather A. Eicher-Miller – Purdue University; Anindya Bhadra – Purdue University; Patricia M. Guenther – University of Utah; Jaime J. Gahche – National Institutes of Health; Nancy Potischman – National Institutes of Health; Johanna T. Dwyer – National Institutes of Health; Regan L. Bailey – Purdue University

Shinyoung Jun

Graduate Student
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana