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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2018, Article ID 8084623, 7 pages
Research Article

Dietary Calcium Intake in Sample of School Age Children in City of Rabat, Morocco

Joint Unit of Nutrition and Food Research, CNESTEN–Ibn Tofaïl University–URAC 39, Regional Designated Center for Nutrition (AFRA/IAEA), Rabat, Morocco

Correspondence should be addressed to Naima Saeid; moc.oohay@an_dieas

Received 21 December 2017; Revised 8 March 2018; Accepted 14 March 2018; Published 8 April 2018

Academic Editor: Michael B. Zemel

Copyright © 2018 Amina Bouziani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Calcium is an important mineral playing a vital role to maintain bone health. Calcium intake is considered as one of the most important determinants to assess the calcium status and to evaluate the calcium deficiency in the human body. Our study aims at estimating calcium intake in a sample of children and adolescent to be used in the global strategy to reduce calcium deficiency disorders in Morocco. Thus, 131 children and adolescents were recruited from public schools at Rabat and its regions in the framework of a descriptive cross-sectional study. For each participant, anthropometric parameters were measured. Calcium status was assessed by 24 h dietary recall. Food frequency questionnaire was used to evaluate children’s nutritional habits and to assess the consumption of calcium-rich food. Overall, the mean calcium intake was 522.0 ± 297.0 mg/day, and 85.5% of subjects highlighted calcium deficiency, with no significant difference between boys and girls. Calcium intake was significantly different according to age groups, and high consumption of calcium was found in subjects aged from 14 to 18 years (776.86 ±290.07 mg/day), giving evidence of the low calcium status of the studied population. Daily food intake and food frequency analysis showed that bread, vegetables, and fruits are the most consumed food and the main source of daily calcium intake. Consumption of dairy products, considered as the best source of calcium, is lower and represents only 14% of total calcium intake. Our study clearly showed that calcium status is very lower in Moroccan children and adolescents and a large proportion of this population have inadequate calcium intake. Hence, there’s an urgent need of specific strategies, including children sensitisation and nutritional education, to increase calcium intake and therefore reduce calcium deficiency disorders impacting the whole body during childhood and in adult age.