2012 Nutrition Report Infographic

Second Nutrition Report Findings Infographic

Findings from CDC’s Second Nutrition Report

The results from CDC’s Second Nutrition Report are in, and there’s lots of good news.

The CDC report presents information on 58 measures of diet and nutrition in the body to give us a snapshot of the nutrition status of the U.S. population.

The results? Americans are doing pretty well: More than 9 out of 10 people are getting enough of some important vitamins and nutrients.

Here’s a closer look at 4 specific measures.

Folic Acid Fortification: A public health success story

Folate is very important for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant because it lowers the risk that the baby will be born with birth defects of the brain and spine.

Often, women get folate by taking folic acid as a dietary supplement. In 1992, CDC recommended that those who may become pregnant take folic acid to prevent birth defects. By 1998, the FDA required that folic acid be added to all enriched cereal grain products, which include most breads, rice, and pasta. This process is called folic acid fortification. As a result, folate levels in women increased by 50%!

Want to add more folate to your diet?

Folate is found naturally in lots of foods, including spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and oranges.

Iodine: An ongoing challenge

Iodine deficiency (not getting enough iodine) is the most preventable cause of intellectual disability in the world. Women need iodine during pregnancy for normal development of the baby’s brain.

The CDC report found that:

  • Women have lower levels of iodine than men.
  • Women ages 20 to 39 — those most likely to be pregnant — have lower iodine levels than any other age group.

Do you need more iodine?

Iodine is found in seafood, low-fat dairy products, and iodized salt.

Non-Hispanic Black Americans aren’t getting enough vitamin D

Everyone needs vitamin D to have healthy bones. It may also help keep muscles strong — and even protect us from cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Who is most at risk for vitamin D deficiency?

  • 31 in 100 non-Hispanic black Americans are at risk for vitamin D deficiency
  • 12 in 100 Mexican Americans at risk for vitamin D deficiency
  • 3 in 100 non-Hispanic white Americans at risk for vitamin D deficiency

Looking for more vitamin D?

In the U.S., vitamin D is often added to milk. It’s also found naturally in fatty fishes, mushrooms, egg yolks, and liver.

Some women and children are at increased risk for iron deficiency

Our bodies need iron. Iron is a mineral that has many important roles, including carrying oxygen from our lungs to other parts of the body. And it turns out some women and children aren’t getting enough.

The CDC report found that:

  • Mexican American children are 2 times more likely to be iron deficient than non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white children.
  • Mexican American and non-Hispanic black women are about 2 times more likely to be iron deficient than non-Hispanic white women.

Need to get more iron?

Iron is found in red meat, poultry (like chicken), seafood, white beans, lentils, and spinach.


Second National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population 2012
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services