Ethnic variation in meat consumption in the USA- impact on micronutrient intakes.

Contribution of meat to vitamin B12, iron and zinc intakes in five ethnic groups in the USA: implications for developing food-based dietary guideline 

S. Sharma, T

  • . Sheehy, 
  • L. N. Kolonel


To describe the sources of meat and their contributions to vitamin B12, iron and zinc in five ethnic groups in the USA.


Dietary data for the Multiethnic Cohort, established in Hawaii and Los Angeles, were collected using a quantitative food frequency questionnaire from more than 215 000 subjects, aged 45–75 years at baseline (1993–1996). Participants included African American, Latino, Japanese American, Native Hawaiian and Caucasian men and women. Servings of meat items were calculated based on the US Department of Agriculture recommendations and their contributions to intakes of total meat, red meat, vitamin B12, iron and zinc were determined.


Of all types of meat, poultry contributed the most to meat consumption, followed by red meat and fish among all ethnicities, except for Latino (born in Mexico and Central/South America) men who consumed more beef. Lean beef was the most commonly consumed red meat for all ethnic-sex groups (9.3–14.3%), except for Native Hawaiian and Japanese American men, and Japanese American women whose top contributor was stew/curry with beef/lamb and stir-fried beef/pork with vegetables, respectively. The contribution of meat was most substantial for zinc (11.1–29.3%) and vitamin B12 (19.7–40%) and, to a lesser extent, for iron (4.3–14.2%).


This is the first large multiethnic cohort study to describe meat sources and their contributions to selected nutrients among ethnic minorities in the USA. These findings may be used to develop ethnic-specific recommendations for meat consumption aiming to improve dietary quality among these groups.



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