NWS-20 Increase consumption of calcium in the population aged 2 years and older

National Data Source
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (CDC/NCHS)
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch
milligrams (age adjusted—see Comments)
Baseline (Year)
1,119 (2003-2006)
Target-Setting Method
Total one day intake of calcium (in mg) among persons aged 2 years and over
Number of persons aged 2 years and over
Questions Used to Obtain the National Baseline Data

From the 2003-04 and 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey:


Foods and beverages:

The 2003-04 and 2005-06 NHANES included the collection of 1 day of dietary data for all respondents through in-person 24-hour recalls1 and collection of a 2nd-day 24-hour recall by telephone. For these analyses, calcium intake from only the first 24 hour recall will be used. Each respondent was asked to recall the kinds and amounts of foods and beverages consumed at home and away from home during the previous day (midnight to midnight). Amounts of foods and beverages reported in household measures were then converted to gram amounts, and calcium intake from foods and beverages was estimated with the use of food composition files.

Plain Drinking Water:

Plain drinking water intakes were collected directly as part of the dietary intake collection of foods and beverages beginning with the 2005-2006 NHANES. Thus, the dietary intake records from the 2005-2006 NHANES include the calcium provided by drinking water. The 2003-2004 NHANES collected plain drinking water intake through questions about the total amount of water drunk on the previous day (same period as the dietary intake). These amounts of water are provided in the NHANES dataset in gram units separately for tap and bottled water but the calcium from drinking water is not included in the dietary intake files.

Additional questions used to assess total calcium intake include:

Dietary supplement use:

Has (Person) taken any vitamins or minerals in the past month? Please include those that are prescribed by a doctor or dentist and those that are not prescribed.

Has (Person) taken or used any medicines for which a doctor's or dentist's prescription is needed, in the past month? This includes any products which cannot be obtained without a doctor's or dentist's prescription. Include those medicines which you may have already mentioned.

[If yes:]

May I see the containers for all of the (vitamins and minerals/prescription medicines) (Person) took in the past month?

Enter complete name of vitamin/mineral from label, or probe respondent:

  • Container seen
  • Container not seen
  • Product furnished by respondent
  • Product name not on container
  • Enter manufacturer's or distributor's name and address (city and State)

How often did (Person) take (product) in the past month?

How much (product) did (Person) take each time (Person) took it?

  1. Number of capsules, tablet/pills; teaspoons; tablespoons; fluid ounces/ounces; drops/droppers; packets/packs/packages; ml.; wafers; other

Antacid use:

Enter complete name of antacid from label or probe respondent:

  1. Antacid seen
  2. Antacid not seen. Product name furnished by respondent.

How often did you take (antacid) in the past month?

How much (antacid) did you take each time you took it?

Data Collection Frequency
Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective
Adapted from HP2010 objective


Methodology Notes

To determine total calcium intake, several sources of calcium were considered, including foods, dietary supplements, antacids, and drinking water.

Plain drinking water:

For 2003-2004 only, 0.03mg of sodium per gram of tap water and 0.10mg of calcium per gram of plain bottled water from the USDA’s FNDDS v3 survey nutrient data base was used. The calcium contributions of tap and bottled water were computed by multiplying the amount of each in grams by the respective factors and adding the two resulting products. This calculation was not done for 2005-2006 as the calcium from water is already included with the dietary intake data.


If antacids data were missing, it was assumed that no calcium was provided by antacids, but the individual was kept in the calculation.

Breast-feeding children were excluded from the analysis.

Age Adjustment

This Indicator uses Age-Adjustment Groups:

  • Total: 2-3, 4-8, 9-13, 14-18, 19-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Sex: 2-3, 4-8, 9-13, 14-18, 19-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Race/Ethnicity: 2-3, 4-8, 9-13, 14-18, 19-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Education Level: 25-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Family Income Level: 2-3, 4-8, 9-13, 14-18, 19-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Country of Birth: 2-3, 4-8, 9-13, 14-18, 19-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Disability Status: 20-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Health Insurance Status: 2-3, 4-8, 9-13, 14-18, 19-30, 31-50, 51-64
  • Marital Status: 20-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Veteran Status: 17-18, 19-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
  • Obesity Status, Adults: 20-30, 31-50, 51-70, 71+
Changes Between HP2010 and HP2020
Healthy People 2010 objective 19-11 assessed the proportion of the population with intakes greater than or equal to 100 percent of the AI (based on calcium Adequate Intake (AI) values established by the National Academy of Sciences), while Healthy People 2020 objective NWS-20 tracks the population's mean daily calcium intake so that the objective will not need to be modified with changes in the guidelines.

References and More Information

  1. WWEIA, NHANES, and the MyPyramid Equivalents Database.