A September 2016 survey from Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, LLC, showed that as much as 20 percent of the U.S. adult population is cutting back on supplement use due to consumption of fortified foods. Despite this trend, nutritional supplement sales nationwide are projected to increase by $1.5 billion in just two years to $16 billion in 2018.
Fortified foods contain extra nutrients added by manufacturers such as cereal fortified with iron, milk with added vitamin D and pasta enhanced with folic acid. While the original intent of these additives was to improve nutritional deficiencies in people without access to foods that naturally contain these nutrients, consequences now include an overabundance of particular nutrients for some and poor food choices due to a dependence on fortified foods for others. Ingesting naturally occurring nutrients in unfortified foods allows each nutrient to be absorbed together with the other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients contained in that food, enabling them to work together within the body, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.