The study, conducted in parts by researchers at RTI International and the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health, analysed data from a 1999-2002, which included more than 10,000 children from birth to 18 years of age.
"Dietary supplements are an important source of nutrition for American children, but national estimates of nutrition intake rarely account for them," Samara Joy Nielsen, Ph.D., a nutrition epidemiologist at RTI and the paper's co-author said.
"To accurately assess children's health and health risks, we need to include children's intake of both dietary supplements and food when examining overall nutrient intakes," she added.
The study showed that children in higher-income families, children who spent less time watching television, playing video games, or on the computer; and the ones in smoke-free households were more likely to use supplements.
The researchers also revealed that almost half of the kids in the age group of 4- to 8-years took dietary supplements, but only slightly higher than 25 percent of kids in the age group of 14- to 18-years who took dietary supplements.
The study is published in Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.