Evaluation of Calcium Intakes of Young Children
in the Philippines as a Result of the
2008 National Nutrition Survey
Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, Glen Melvin P. Gironella
and Ma. Adrienne S. Constantino
Food and Nutrition Research Institute
Department of Science and Technology, Taguig City, Philippines
Calcium is considered as the most abundant mineral in the body. Milk and other milk products are the best sources of calcium. Deficiency of calcium intake may lead to osteoporosis. This study was conducted to provide information on dietary calcium intakes of young children as basis for advocacy campaigns on keeping watch on their calcium intakes. A total of 5,691 children aged 6 months to 10 years old were the respondents in the study. The data were taken from the National Nutrition Survey conducted in 2008. Food intakes were collected in face-to-face interviews using 24-hour food recall questionnaires with mothers of children as respondents. Food intake was transformed to nutrient intakes using the Individual Dietary Evaluation System. The mean one-day calcium intake of young children is 291 mg, where there is a declining trend from 6 months to 6 years old and increases slightly from 7 to 10 years old. Only 14.8% have met the Estimated Average Requirement for calcium. Milk and milk products contributed to about 33.4% of the total calcium intake. The highest calcium intake of young children came from the richest quintile, compared to the groups belonging to the poorest quintile where intake was lowest. Mean and percent adequacy of calcium intake of children and the consumption of milk as rich source of calcium were both very low.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body with the adult human body containing about 1200 g of calcium or equal to 1–2 % of body weight (Cashman 2002). It is essential for bone growth and teeth development as it is required for the mineralization of the bone and teeth matrix. The majority (~99%) of calcium present in the body is found in bone, with a smaller amount found in teeth. The remainder (<1%) is found in soft tissues and body fluids (Theobald 2005). This was documented in a longitudinal study by Fiorito et al. (2006) that has strongly linked dietary calcium intake with high total body bone mineral content (TBBMC). Similarly, Tanaka et al. (2014) concluded that a higher calcium intake was significantly associated with a lower prevalence of periodontal disease. Aside from its major role in skeletal function, calcium plays a regulatory role in a number of specialized functions in muscle (including cardiac muscle) contraction, neurotransmitter secretion, digestion and blood coagulation . . . . . read more
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