Assessment of intake inadequacy and food sources of zinc of people in China

Ma Guansheng, Li Yanping, F.J. Kok, Y. Xiaoguang

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess the intake inadequacy and food sources of zinc of people in China. Design and subjects: Diets of 68 962 subjects aged 2-101 years (urban 21103, rural 47859) in the 2002 China National Nutrition and Health Survey were analysed. Dietary intake was assessed using 24-hour recall for three consecutive days. Zinc intake inadequacy was calculated based on values suggested by the World Health Organization. Results: The median zinc intake ranged from 4.9 mg day(-1) (urban girls, 2-3 years) to 11.9 mg day(-1) (rural males, 19+ years). The zinc density of urban residents (2-3 to 19+ years) was 5.0-5.3 mg day(-1) (1000 kcal)(-1),significantly higher than that of their rural counterparts (4.7-4.8 mg day(-1) (1000 kcal)(-1)). Differences in food sources of zinc from cereal grains (27.4-45.1 vs. 51.6-63.2%) and animal foods (28.4-54.8 vs. 16.8-30.6%) were found between urban and rural residents. Zinc from vegetables and fruits (8.2-13.8 vs. 9.7-12.4%) and legumes (1.3-3.3 vs. 2.5-3.4%) was comparable between urban and rural residents. The proportion of zinc intake inadequacy ranged between 2.8% (urban females, 19+ years) and 29.4% (rural lactating women). Rural residents had higher proportions of zinc intake inadequacy than their urban counterparts. Significantly higher proportions of zinc inadequacy were found in the category of phytate/zinc molar ratio > 15 for both rural and urban residents. Conclusions: About 20% of rural children are at risk of inadequate zinc intake, with phytate as a potential important inhibitor. Moreover, lactating women are also considered a vulnerable group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-854
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • nutrition examination survey
  • trace-element status
  • 3rd national-health
  • phytate content
  • molar ratios
  • copper
  • iron
  • individuals
  • population
  • pregnancy

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