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Saint Paul, MN, United States

Dickinson A.,Dickinson Consulting LLC | Mackay D.,Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
Nutrition Journal

Dietary supplements are used by half to two-thirds of American adults, and the evidence suggests that this usage is one component of a larger effort to develop a healthier lifestyle. Dietary supplement users tend on average to be better educated and to have somewhat higher incomes than nonusers, and these factors may contribute to their health-consciousness. Dietary supplement use also tends to be more prevalent among women than among men, and the prevalence of use increases with age in both men and women. Numerous surveys document that users of dietary supplements are significantly more likely than nonusers to have somewhat better dietary patterns, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid tobacco products. While supplement users tend to have better diets than nonusers, the differences are relatively small, their diets have some substantial nutrient shortfalls, and their supplement use has been shown to improve the adequacy of nutrient intakes. Overall, the evidence suggests that users of dietary supplements are seeking wellness and are consciously adopting a variety of lifestyle habits that they consider to contribute to healthy living. © 2014 Dickinson and MacKay; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Dickinson A.,Dickinson Consulting LLC | Shao A.,Scientific and Regulatory Affairs | Boyon N.,Ipsos Public Affairs | Franco J.C.,Ipsos Public Affairs
Nutrition Journal

Background: Dietary supplements are regularly used by a majority of the American population, and usage by health professionals is also common. There is considerable interest in usage patterns within the population and in the reasons for using dietary supplements. The "Life.supplemented" Healthcare Professionals 2008 Impact Study (HCP Impact Study) surveyed usage of dietary supplements by physicians in three specialties: cardiology, dermatology, and orthopedics. Methods. The HCP Impact Study was conducted online by Ipsos Public Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a trade association of the dietary supplement industry. Respondents were 900 physicians, including 300 each from three specialties - cardiology, dermatology, and orthopedics. Results: Fifty-seven percent of cardiologists said they use dietary supplements at least occasionally, as did 75% of dermatologists and 73% of orthopedists. The product most commonly reported to be used was a multivitamin, but over 25% in each specialty said they used omega-3 fatty acids and over 20% said they used some botanical supplements. Regular dietary supplement use was reported by 37% of cardiologists, 59% of dermatologists, and 50% of orthopedists. Seventy-two percent of cardiologists, 66% of dermatologists, and 91% of orthopedists reported recommending dietary supplements to their patients. The primary reason given for recommending dietary supplements to patients was for heart health or lowering cholesterol for the cardiologists; benefits for skin, hair and nails for the dermatologists; and bone and joint health for the orthopedists. Conclusions: Reported dietary supplement use was relatively common in this sample of physicians, and when they recommended dietary supplements to patients, they tended to do so for reasons related to their specialty. © 2011 Dickinson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Dickinson A.,Dickinson Consulting LLC | Bonci L.,University of Pittsburgh | Boyon N.,Ipsos Public Affairs | Franco J.C.,Ipsos Public Affairs
Nutrition Journal

Background: Dietary supplement use is common in the United States, with more than half of the population using such products. Nutrition authorities consistently advocate a "food first" approach to achieving nutritional adequacy but some, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), also recognize that dietary supplements have a role to play in improving nutrient intake to support health and wellness. Surveys show that many health professionals use dietary supplements themselves and also recommend dietary supplements to their patients or clients. Methods: As one component of a series of surveys of healthcare professionals (the "Life⋯supplemented" HCP Impact Studies), 300 registered dietitians were surveyed in 2009 regarding their personal use of dietary supplements and whether they recommend dietary supplements to their clients. Respondents were registered dietitians whose business involved seeing clients in a private practice or at a clinic. Results: Seventy-four percent of the dietitians surveyed said they were regular users of dietary supplements, while 22% said they used dietary supplements occasionally or seasonally. The primary reasons for using dietary supplements were for bone health (58%), overall health and wellness (53%), and to fill nutrient gaps (42%). When asked if they "ever recommend dietary supplements to clients," 97% of the respondents said they did. The primary reasons were for bone health (70%), to fill nutrient gaps (67%), and overall health and wellness (49%). Eighty-seven percent of the dietitians agreed with the statement, "There are gaps in clients' diets that could effectively be addressed with dietary supplements." The dietitians surveyed said they followed healthy habits including eating a balanced diet (96%), managing stress (92%), visiting their own healthcare professional regularly (86%), exercising regularly (83%), maintaining a healthy weight (80%), and getting a good night's sleep (72%). Nearly all respondents (95%) expressed an interest in continuing education about dietary supplements on a variety of topics. Conclusions: Many dietitians, like other health professionals, use dietary supplements regularly as part of their own approach to a healthy diet and lifestyle. They also recommend dietary supplements to their clients or patients, to promote health. © 2012 Dickinson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Dickinson A.,Dickinson Consulting LLC

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), enacted in 1994, had two primary goals: to ensure continued consumer access to a wide variety of dietary supplements, and to provide consumers with more information about the intended use of dietary supplements. It accomplished these goals, and more, without changing the fundamental regulatory status of dietary supplements as a category of foods. This article explores the history and reasoning behind the major provisions of the Act and reflects on the impact of each during 15 years of experience under DSHEA. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Dickinson A.,Dickinson Consulting LLC | MacKay D.,Scientific and Regulatory Affairs | Wong A.,Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
Nutrition Journal

Background: U.S. nutrition surveys find that intakes of many nutrients fall short of recommendations. The majority of U.S. adults use multivitamins and other dietary supplements as one means of improving nutrient intakes. Some policy makers and health professionals appear reluctant to recommend routine use of dietary supplements to fill nutrient gaps in the diet, in part because they are concerned that people will view the supplements as a substitute for dietary improvement and that the use of supplements may lead to overconsumption of micronutrients. Surveys find that in fact users of dietary supplements tend to have better diets and adopt other healthy habits, suggesting that the supplements are viewed as one aspect of an overall effort to improve wellness. Furthermore, evidence demonstrates that the incidence of excess micronutrient intake is low. We report the results of a survey probing consumer attitudes about the role of dietary supplements. Methods: The Council for Responsible Nutrition funded a survey to measure consumer attitudes about the role of multivitamins, calcium and/or vitamin D supplements, and other supplements in improving dietary intakes. The research was designed and analyzed by FoodMinds and was fielded using Toluna's On-line Omnibus. The weighted sample of 2159 respondents is representative of U.S. adults. Results: Nearly 90 % of the survey respondents agreed that multivitamins and supplements of calcium and/or vitamin D can help meet nutrient needs when desirable intakes are not achieved through food alone. At the same time, 80 % agreed that dietary supplements should not be used to replace healthy dietary or lifestyle habits, and 82 % agreed that people considering taking a high dose, single nutrient supplement should talk with their physician. Conclusions: These results provide additional support for the conclusion that the vast majority of consumers recognize that multivitamins and other supplements can help fill nutrient gaps but should not be viewed as replacements for a healthy diet. This suggests that policy makers and health professionals could feel comfortable recommending rational dietary supplementation as one means of improving nutrient intakes, without being unduly concerned that such a recommendation would lead consumers to discount the importance of good dietary habits. © 2015 Dickinson et al. Source

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