The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 3–12 | Cite as

Dietary Supplement Use by Children and Adolescents in the United States to Enhance Sport Performance: Results of the National Health Interview Survey

  • Marion Willard EvansJr.
  • Harrison Ndetan
  • Michael Perko
  • Ronald Williams
  • Clark Walker
Original Paper


Dietary supplements may improve sport performance in adults. However, this has not been established in children. The aim of this study was to assess self-reported or parental-reported dietary supplement use to enhance sports performance among the child subset of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) dataset and determine national population estimates for that use. NHIS 2007 Child Alternative Medicine files containing records for children aged <18 years were used. Typical demographic variables were utilized as well as parental presence; parental education level; use of any herb, vitamin, and/or mineral use for sports performance by children; and age. Most (94.5%) who reported using supplements used multivitamin and/or mineral combinations followed by fish oil/omega-3 s, creatine, and fiber. Males were more likely users (OR = 2.1; 95% CI [1.3, 3.3]), and Whites reported greater usage. Mean user age was 10.8 (SD = 0.2) with 57.7% >10 years, indicating some increase in use with higher age categories (p < .001). Most were US born and reported living with both parents. Parents and children report child use of a wide variety of herbal and vitamin/mineral supplements to improve sports performance. Usage could be predicted by age, gender, and level of education but less likely by parent-based demographics.


Adolescent Dietary supplements Food supplements Sports performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marion Willard EvansJr.
    • 1
  • Harrison Ndetan
    • 2
  • Michael Perko
    • 3
  • Ronald Williams
    • 4
  • Clark Walker
    • 5
  1. 1.Texas Chiropractic CollegePasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Parker University Research InstituteDallasUSA
  3. 3.University of North Carolina-GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  4. 4.Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health PromotionMississippi State UniversityStarkvilleUSA
  5. 5.University of North Texas Health Science CenterFort WorthUSA

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