Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Gail W. Disney

Committee Members

Edward T. Howley, John T. Smith


This nutrition status survey was conducted at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in conjunction with a southern regional nutrition project operative in ten sites throughout the southeast. The purpose of this study was to assess folate nutriture of the subjects using both biochemical and dietary indicators. The sample group was comprised of 94 adolescent females 14 ± 0.5 years of age, from two race groups (black and white) and two income categories (≤ $1,200/capita/year and ≥ $2,000/capita/year). Fasting blood was collected and analyzed by radio assay methods for both serum and red cell folate concentrations. Two 24-hour dietary recalls were also obtained from each subject. Eighty-two percent of the girls consumed 2/3 or less of the RDA for folate, with 36% taking in less than 1/3 of the ROA. Among the white, black and low-income groups there was a statistically significant (P < 0.05) correlation between dietary folate and kilocalories consumed. Only 6.5% of all subjects (11% of the whites and 3.0% of the blacks) were marginal or deficient in both serum and red cell folate levels. Thirty percent of the subjects had marginal or deficient serum folate levels and 8% of all subjects had deficient folate stores as indicated by deficient red cell folate levels. Implications of presented results regarding adolescent folate status and Recommended Dietary Allowances for folate are discussed.

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