Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus dietary intake in active and sedentary Polish students

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Study aim: To evaluate energy, macronutrient, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate daily intake in young healthy Polish male students. Material and methods: Two hundred and sixteen participants were physical education students engaged in regular physical ac­tivity (about 9 h/week) and were recognized as physically active. One hundred and fourteen students were from other speciali­zations participating in 1.5 h/week gymnastics classes and were recognized as sedentary. Body mass and height were measured using standard medical equipment. Body fat was evaluated from four skinfold measurements. In all subjects daily intake of energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium and phosphate was briefly assessed from 24-hour food records taken over 4 days. Results: The active students’ diet was characterized by significantly higher energy, macronutrient and mineral daily intake. Moreover, calcium to phosphorus and calcium to magnesium ratios in active subjects were higher than in sedentary ones. There was no significant difference between groups in protein or magnesium intake expressed per 1000 kcal. In contrast, daily intake of fat and phosphate expressed per 1000 kcal was significantly lower in the active students vs. sedentary ones (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05 for fat and phosphate, respectively). Active students were characterized by significantly higher carbohydrate and cal­cium intake per 1000 kcal in comparison with their sedentary counterparts (p < 0.001 for both variables). Conclusions: The dietary pattern of active students was found to be slightly but significantly better than that of their sedentary counterparts. However, in both groups it was far from being a healthy one.

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