Dietary Supplement Caucus Briefing Shines Light on Nutritional Intakes of U.S. Adults

Washington, D.C., October 3, 2017—“The best way to improve dietary intake is diversification, fortification, and supplementation,” said Regan Bailey, Ph.D., R.D., M.P.H, associate professor, Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, at the 31st Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus briefing held last week on Capitol Hill. Speaking before an audience of more than 60 Congressional staffers and guests, Dr. Bailey discussed dietary supplement use and nutrient intakes in U.S. adults, as well as ways to improve nutritional habits and access to products that will help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

“We always recommend food first,” advised Dr. Bailey. “However, research shows that, overwhelmingly, adults fail to exceed the recommended daily value of any vitamin or mineral from foods alone. For this reason, we must find ways to incorporate these vital nutrients into our diets—and taking a dietary supplement, like a multivitamin, is a great step to take."

At the briefing, Dr. Bailey presented research on dietary supplement usage across the spectrum of specific American populations. She noted that adults who use dietary supplements differ from those who do not in a number of ways, including age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status.

“A clear pattern that always emerges in almost every cohort that I have ever seen is that the use of dietary supplements increases with the amount of money a person or family has,” said Dr. Bailey. “Many Americans live in communities that lack accessible, affordable healthy food options. By increasing access to dietary supplements among those most at risk for micronutrient deficiency, especially those of lower socioeconomic status, we can ensure all Americans are getting the nutrients they need to live healthier lives."

Dr. Bailey’s presentation dovetails with legislation recently introduced in Congress, the SNAP Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act (HR 3841), which allows for the inclusion of a multivitamin under Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Dietary supplements such as the multivitamin are useful in providing nutrients that otherwise may be consumed in less-than-recommended amounts, and HR 3841 would empower SNAP recipients to make the choice to purchase the dietary supplements they need to live healthier, more nutrient-rich lives.

The educational event was sponsored by the bipartisan, bicameral Dietary Supplement Caucus with help from trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry—the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA).

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal and botanical products industry. AHPA is comprised of more than 300 domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers, and marketers of herbs and herbal products, including foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and non-prescription drugs. Founded in 1982, AHPA's mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. Website: www.ahpa.org.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 136-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. Visit www.chpa.org and www.KnowYourOTCs.org.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit www.crnusa.org. Follow us on Twitter @CRN_Supplements and LinkedIn.

The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the trade association representing the entire natural products industry. We advocate for our members who supply, manufacture and sell natural ingredients or products for consumers. NPA has set numerous industry standards, such as dietary supplement Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), as well as a definition of natural for home care and personal care products. NPA, which represents over 2,000 members accounting for more than 10,000 locations of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids, has led the charge to keep the natural products industry in business for 79 years. Visit www.NPAinfo.org.

The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) is an international trade association representing more than 100 leading natural products, dietary supplement, functional food, scientific and technology and related service companies that share a commitment to provide consumers with natural health products of superior quality, benefit and reliability. Founded in Utah in 1992, UNPA was instrumental in the passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and continues to take a leadership position in legislative and regulatory issues and industry best practices. Visit www.unpa.com.