Sources of dietary iron in urban and provincial 4-year-old children in Iran

Fatemeh Zohouri, Andrew J. Rugg-Gunn

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    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Iron-deficiency anaemia is prevalent in childhood, especially in developing countries. Nutritional deficiency is one of the main causes of iron-deficiency anaemia, although absorption varies considerably between different dietary items. Information on the sources of iron in young children is limited. A study was therefore undertaken to investigate the different dietary sources of iron in 151 healthy children aged 4 years who were selected from two districts of Fars province, Iran. Two 3-day dietary diaries with pre- and post-interview were used to record the dietary intake of the children. Food and drinks were categorised into four groups (animal, plant, drinks and other) to measure the relative importance of different sources of iron. Sixty-eight percent of the children completed the 3-day dietary diaries in both summer and winter. The results showed no statistically significant differences in total daily iron intake between the two seasons or between genders. However, the difference in the total daily iron intake between children in the city and the provincial district was significant: 7.73 ± 1.75 mg/day and 10.33 ± 2.9 mg/day, respectively (P < 0.001). About 75 and 60% of iron intake came from plant sources in the provincial district and city, respectively. The three most important sources of iron for children of the provincial district were bread (51%), fruit and vegetables (12%) and meat (7%). This pattern was also observed for children living in the city, but with different percentages: 27%, 16% and 16%, respectively. In conclusion, total iron intakes were similar to those recorded in European countries, but little of the intake came from animal sources and substantial differences between city and provincial children were recorded.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)128-132
    Number of pages5
    JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2002


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