A new government study documents that average Americans do not get adequate choline in their diets, according to Don McNamara, Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. Eggs are second only to beef liver in the amount of choline in a 100 g serving. The recent government survey called NHANES, (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) was done to discover the eating habits and nutrition pattern in a wide cross section of the population. Using these data at the Iowa State University, researchers determined the intake of choline in the diet. This part of the study at Iowa State was contracted through the Egg Nutrition Center.

Using the recommended intake established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, investigators found only 10 percent of the population had sufficient choline intake. This is a special concern for pregnant women because choline plays an important role in fetus brain development. Two eggs a day would provide 50 percent of the recommended intake. Likewise, it has been established that choline plays an important role in adult brain functions.

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The Egg Nutrition staff has just returned from a conference of American Obstetric and Gynecology where reaction to the study was positive, McNamara says. Also discussed was a study relating to the inclusion of eggs in weight loss diet programs. Previous research has shown that eggs reduce the number of calories women eat at lunch when they have eggs for breakfast. The test consisted of women eating eggs five days a week for eight weeks versus women having a bagel breakfast five days a week for the same period. The egg group lost twice as much weight during this time as the people eating the bagel breakfast.