Concerns about vitamin D status in the United States have resurfaced due to increasing reports of insufficiency and deficiency. Few foods contain vitamin D naturally, and currently few foods are fortified in the United States.

Intakes of vitamin D in the United States from food and food plus supplements by age, sex, and race/ethnicity group were estimated. Individuals 1 y old who participated in the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999-2000) were included in the analysis.

Vitamin D intake by non-Hispanic (NH) white, NH black, Mexican American, and all individuals in the United States was estimated and compared with recommended levels.

Vitamin D intakes were highest among children and teenagers, and lowest in the oldest age categories. Among children age 1-8 y, adequate intake (AI) levels for vitamin D from food were met or exceeded by 69% of Mexican American, 59% of NH white, and 48% of NH black subpopulations.

Among adults 51 y old, only 4% met or exceeded the AI from food alone. Few women 19-50 y old or men and women 51 y old were estimated to consume recommended vitamin D levels from food.

Mean dietary intakes of vitamin D from food plus supplements were consistently highest among NH white populations, although only small proportions of all those 51 y old had intakes above the recommended levels.

The large discrepancy between vitamin D intake by older individuals from food plus supplements and recommended levels, especially for NH black and Mexican American adults, warrants intervention.