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A national survey found that micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent in South African children, particularly calcium, iron, zinc, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin A, E and C. Mandatory fortification of maize meal and wheat flour were introduced in 2003 to combat some of the deficiencies found in children. To date however, there has not been a national survey on dietary intake in adults.
The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the micronutrient intake of the diet consumed by the average adult South African by means of secondary data analyses and secondly to evaluate the effects of fortification on selected nutrient intakes.
Secondary data analysis was carried out with numerous dietary surveys on adults to create a database that included sampling (and weighting) according to ethnic/urban–rural residence in line with the population census, of which 79% were black Africans and the majority resided in rural areas. The effect of fortification was evaluated by substituting fortified foods in the diet for the unfortified products.
The combined database used in this study comprised 3229 adults.
Mean calcium, iron, folate and vitamin B6 intakes were very low particularly in women. Mean intakes of most micronutrients were lower in rural areas. Fortification of maize meal and wheat flour (bread) raised mean levels of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate above the recommended nutrient intakes (RNIs). In women, despite fortification, mean iron intakes remained below the RNIs, as did calcium since it was not in the fortification mix.
The average dietary intake of adults was of poor nutrient density, particularly in rural areas. Fortification of maize meal and wheat flour (bread) considerably improved mean vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate and iron intakes as well as the overall mean adequacy ratio of the diet.
The aim of this study was to determine the iron status, and the risk factors for iron deficiency (ID) and iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA), of non-pregnant adult women working in a fruit-packing factory.
A cross-sectional analytical study was done on 338 women, 18 to 55 years of age. Information on demographic data, risk factors for ID, smoking, and the consumption of red meat, chicken and fish was collected by questionnaire. Height and weight were measured and the body mass index (BMI) calculated. A non-fasting venous blood sample was analysed for haemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin (SF), serum iron, serum transferrin and C-reactive protein; transferrin saturation (TFS) was calculated.
Fruit-packing factory in the Western Cape, South Africa.
The mean value for Hb was 13.06 (standard deviation (SD) 1.16) g dl−1 and for SF 48.0 (SD 47.8) μgl−1 (geometric mean 26.44 μgl−1). Women (n = 325) were categorised on the basis of iron status: 60% had a normal iron status (NIS); 12.6% had low TFS (<16%) but normal Hb (≥12 g dl−1) and SF (≥12 μgl−1) concentrations (LTS); and 27.4% had low iron status (LIS), defined as combinations of low SF (<12 μgl−1 or <20 μgl−1), low TFS (<16%) and low Hb (<12 gdl−1). More than 30% of the women were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kgm−2). The risk ratio for LIS (LIS vs. NIS) was 3.8 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9–7.6) if women were still menstruating or 3.2 (95% CI 1.6–6.2) if they were pregnant during the past 12 months. Women with LIS consumed significantly smaller portions of red meat, chicken and fish than did women in the other two groups.
IDA (low Hb, SF and TFS) and ID (low SF and TFS) did not seem to be a major problem. Women who were still menstruating or were pregnant during the past 12 months were at greater risk for ID. The consumption of smaller portions of red meat, chicken and fish was related to LIS. A high prevalence of obesity, which demonstrated the coexistence of both under- and overnutrition, was observed.
To report on energy and nutrient intakes, as a risk factor for coronary heart disease in Indian South Africans.
Cross-sectional dietary study as part of a coronary heart disease survey.
Metropolitan area of Durban, South Africa.
Free-living Indian men (n = 406) and women (n = 370) 15–69 years of age.
Dietary data were collected by three interviewers using a 24-h dietary recall and expressed as median intakes of macronutrients.
Results reported a low energy intake and the percentage of energy derived from total fat varied between 32.3 and 34.9% in men and between 33.1 and 36.1% in women. The energy intake to basal metabolic rate (EI: BMR) ratios were low for all age groups suggesting potential under-reporting. Intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids was high, more than 10% of energy, with a median polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acid ratio (P: S ratio) that varied between 1.38 and 1.96 for the various age and sex groups. Dietary cholesterol varied between 66 and 117 mg per 4.2 MJ in men and between 76 and 109 mg per 4.2 MJ in women. Dietary fibre intakes were low and varied between 8.0 and 11.0 g per 4.2 MJ in men and between 7.6 and 9.6 g per 4.2 MJ in women.
The dietary P:S ratios were high and the effect of such a high P:S ratio on the oxidation of low density lipoprotein in this population, with a high prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD), should be investigated as a possible risk factor for CHD.
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