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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: WHAT WE EAT IN AMERICA - DIETARY SURVEY: DATA COLLECTION, INTERPRETATION, DISSEMINATION, AND METHODOLOGY

Location: Food Surveys

Title: Potassium intake of the U.S. population, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010

Authors
item Hoy, M Katherine
item Goldman, Joseph

Submitted to: Worldwide Web Site: Food Surveys Research Group
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: September 28, 2013
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Citation: Hoy, M.K., Goldman, J.D. 2012. Potassium intake of the U.S. population, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010. Worldwide Web Site: Food Surveys Research Group. Available: www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=19476.

Interpretive Summary: Available evidence suggests that an increased dietary intake of potassium may be beneficial for lowering blood pressure and reducing risk for hypertension, kidney stones, and bone loss. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identifies potassium as a nutrient to be increased in the diet, and the Institute of Medicine Adequate Intake recommendation for adults is 4,700 mg per day. Using nationwide data on dietary intakes from What We Eat In America, NHANES 2009-2010, potassium intake of the U.S. population is reported by gender, age and ethnicity, and food categories that contribute to potassium intake of the population are highlighted. Data show the average potassium intake of the population was 2,640 mg per day. Potassium intakes of males overall were higher than intakes of females; however, when intake per 1,000 kcal is considered, intakes of females overall were higher than males. Food categories that contribute to potassium include fruits and vegetables, milk and milk drinks, meats and poultry, and grain-based mixed dishes.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this report is to present data on the potassium intake of the U.S. population and the food categories that contribute to total intake. The dietary intake data were from a twenty-four hour recall provided by 9,042 individuals ages two and older, except breastfed children, who participated in What We Eat In America, NHANES 2009-2010. Data show that in 2009-2010, the average potassium intake of the U.S. population was 2,640 mg per day, and intakes have remained relatively unchanged since the 1994-1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals. Potassium intakes of males overall were higher than females, but when considered per 1,000 kcal, intakes of females overall were higher. Potassium intake is related to energy intake and the higher overall intake of males is most likely related to higher energy intake. However, some foods contain more potassium compared to others, thus the higher overall potassium intake per 1,000 kcal of females may be related to food choices. In light of the potential health benefits of consuming 4,700 mg per day, data indicates that most Americans would benefit by increasing intake of foods high in potassium given. Fruits and vegetables contributed 25% to total potassium intake, and milk and milk products accounted for 11% of population intake. Meats and poultry contributed 10% to total potassium intake as did grain-based mixed dishes. The information in this report is informative for health professionals, educators, and others who are interested in the dietary intake of the U.S. population. It is also useful to those who are developing education programs and policy initiatives to promote healthy food choices, and for monitoring changes in potassium intake within the population at large.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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