Usual Vitamin Intakes by Mexican Populations1–4

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In the past several years, the consumption of high-energy, nutrient-poor foods has increased globally. Dietary intake data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT) 2012 provide information to assess the quality of the Mexican diet and to guide food and nutrition policy.


The aim was to describe the usual intake and the prevalence of inadequate intakes of vitamins for the overall Mexican population and by subgroups defined by sex, age, region, urban or rural areas, and socioeconomic status (SES).


ENSANUT 2012 is a cross-sectional probabilistic survey representative of the Mexican population. Dietary information was collected by using the 24-h recall automated multiple-pass method (n = 10,096) with a repeated measurement on a subsample (n = 889) to permit adjustment for intraindividual variability with the use of the Iowa State University method. Mean usual intakes and the prevalence of inadequate intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamins A, D, E, C, B-6, and B-12 were calculated for children aged 1–4 y (CH1–4y), children aged 5–11 y (CH5–11y), adolescents aged 12–19 y, and adults aged ≥20 y.


In all of the age groups, prevalences of inadequate intakes of vitamins D and E were the highest (77–99% of adults and adolescents and 53–95% of CH5–11y and CH1–4y) and those of folate and vitamin A were intermediate (47–70% of adults and adolescents, 15–23% of CH5–11y and 8–13% of CH1–4y), whereas those of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins B-6, B-12, and C were the lowest (0–37% of adults, 1–27% of adolescents, and 0–2.4% of CH5–11y and CH1–4y). With few exceptions, the highest prevalences of inadequate intakes for vitamins were observed in the poorest populations (rural South region and the lowest tertile of SES).


The intake of vitamins among Mexicans is inadequate overall. Information collected by ENSANUT can help target food assistance programs and develop strategies to prevent vitamin deficiencies.

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