WNPR

The Making Of The American ‘Vitamaniac’

Apr 11, 2018

A mosaic of boldly colored labels and brightly lit bottles, the vitamin aisle is as much a drug store staple as it is a monument to a multi-billion dollar industry. This hour, we trace the history of dietary supplement sales in the U.S. and consider why these supplements remain so popular today. 

Plus, we find out how one Washington D.C.-based program is working to combat nutritional deficiency on a global scale. Do you take vitamins or supplements on a daily basis? We want to hear from you. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

 

GUESTS:

READING LIST:

  • The New York Times: Older Americans Are ‘Hooked’ on Vitamins - “More than half of Americans take vitamin supplements, including 68 percent of those age 65 and older, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. Among older adults, 29 percent take four or more supplements of any kind, according to a Journal of Nutrition study published in 2017.”
  • Fast Company: Could Biofortified Crops Be The Key To Solving Global Hunger? “...nutrients like zinc, vitamin A, and iron, which are too often missing from people’s diets.”
  • The New York Times: Learning From the History of Vitamins - “In the United States alone, annual sales of multivitamin and mineral supplements total $12.5 billion. Yet a balanced diet will generally provide a sufficient supply of vitamins, and there’s little evidence that extra vitamins in supplements do much good.”

Chion Wolf and Carlos Mejia contributed to this show.