The Vitamin and Dietary Supplement Boom: Most People Now Take Them, Says CDC

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vitamins and dietary supplements are more popular than ever before, with the percentage of Americans using at least one supplement up from 42 percent in 1994 to 53 percent in 2006. The data were gathered using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Here's HealthDay with more details on the news:

WEDNESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of U.S. adults take dietary supplements, such as multivitamins and calcium, and their use jumped dramatically over a recent 20-year period, according to a new government report.

Between 1994 and 2006, the proportion of Americans using at least one dietary supplement jumped from 42 percent of adults to 53 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The increase in supplement use may be due to increased awareness and education about dietary supplement use," said lead report author Jaime Gahche, an associate service fellow in the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey/Planning Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics.

Media attention on vitamin D likely boosted intake of that supplement, she said, and massive advertising by the supplement industry may have influenced use of multivitamins. But some experts say multivitamins may not be necessary.

However, since 2006, the growth in supplement usage has leveled off, she said. "We have reason to believe it should stay relatively stable," she added.

Read the full HealthDay story at US News and World Report.

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Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

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