BMI & Nutrient Shortfalls

Feb 09, 2022

BMI & Nutrient Shortfalls


Normal Weight



Vitamin D




Vitamin E












Vitamin A




Vitamin C




America is in the midst of a nutrition crisis that has yet to be fully addressed.

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.2
  • Data from the government’s National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) show that most people have problems meeting recommended nutrient intake for vitamins A, C, D, and E, magnesium and calcium.2

Current dietary and lifestyle choices have led to a growing gap between the amount of nutrients people should consume and the actual nutrients they are consuming.

  • As the graphic demonstrates, the latest information from NHANES reveals that shortfalls in key nutrients are higher for those Americans with higher body weights.
  • Those who are obese are most likely to have shortfalls in their intake of vitamins D, E, A and C, as well as magnesium and calcium.3

Nutrient shortfalls left unaddressed have the potential to lead to chronic diseases such as osteoporosis4, which may increase healthcare costs.

  • The Healthy Eating Index is a measure of diet quality based on how many servings of food from various food groups are eaten. Regardless of weight status, American adults score about 50 out of a possible 100 points.3 This shows that most people need to make significant changes in how they eat to meet nutrient goals.
  • In addition to making more nutrient-rich food choices, nutrient shortfalls may also be addressed by including dietary supplements, which provide important nutrients without added calories. A healthy diet, physical activity and dietary supplements together can encourage a healthy lifestyle that meets nutrient needs.

Source: NHANES 2001–20082

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NHANES is designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations. The statistics reported in this fact sheet are based on the EAR, which is helpful for assessing individual population needs.

For more information visit:

Dietary Guidelines for Americans | |

National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus | medlineplus/nutrition.html

National Osteoporosis Foundation |

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention |

1 Agarwal S, Reider C, Brooks JR, Fulgoni VL. Comparison of Prevalence of Inadequate Intake Based on Body Weight Status of Adults in the United States: An Analysis of NHANES 2001-2008. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015 Jan 7:1-9.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3 Fulgoni V. NHANES 2001-2008 analysis. 2011 unpublished.

4 Warensjo E, Byberg L, Melhus H, et al. Dietary calcium intake and risk of fracture and osteoporosis: prospective longitudinal cohort study. BMJ 2011;342:d1473.