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To examine the associations of dietary diversity with anaemia and iron status among primary school-aged children in South Africa.
An analysis was conducted with pooled individual data from the baseline surveys from three previously conducted independent intervention studies. Two different dietary diversity scores (DDS) were calculated based on data from 1-day (1-d) and 3-day (3-d) dietary recall periods, respectively. Logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the associations of dietary diversity with anaemia and iron status.
KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces, South Africa.
Children (n 578) 5- to 12-year-old.
A DDS ≤ 4 was associated with higher odds of being anaemic (1-d P = 0·001; 3-d P = 0·006) and being iron deficient (ID) (3-d P < 0·001). For both recall periods, consumption of ‘vegetables and fruits other than vitamin A-rich’ and ‘animal-source foods (ASF)’ was associated with lower odds of being anaemic (both P = 0·002), and ‘organ meats’ with lower odds of being ID (1-d P = 0·045; 3-d P < 0·001). Consumption of ‘meat, chicken and fish’ was associated with lower odds of being anaemic (P = 0·045), and ‘vegetables and fruits other than vitamin A-rich’, ‘legumes, nuts and seeds’ and ‘ASF’ with lower odds of being ID for the 3-d recall period only (P = 0·038, P = 0·020 and P = 0·003, respectively).
In order to improve anaemia and iron status among primary school-aged children, dietary diversification, with emphasis on consumption of vegetables, fruits and ASF (including organ meats), should be promoted.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess the effect of African leafy vegetable (ALV) consumption on Fe, Zn and vitamin A status in children.
Children were randomly allocated to receive either a 300 g cooked ALV dish and school meal starch (n 86) or the normal school meal (n 81) five times per week for three months. ALV in the dish consisted mainly of Amaranthus cruentus (at least 80 %) and the remainder of Cleome gynandra, Cucurbita maxima or Vigna unguiculata. Nutrient content and consumer acceptance of the ALV dish were also determined.
North West Province, South Africa.
Grade R to grade 4 children (6–12 years old) of two farm schools.
The ALV dish contributed 11·6–15·8 mg Fe and 1·4–3·7 mg Zn. At baseline, prevalence of deficiencies in the intervention group was 16·0 %, 16·3 %, 7·0 % and 75·6 %, respectively, for anaemia (Hb<11·5 g/dl), Fe (serum ferritin<15 µg/l), vitamin A (serum retinol<20 μg/dl) and Zn (serum Zn<65 μg/dl); and in the control group 10·5 %, 18·5 %, 2·5 % and 75·3 %, respectively. No significant estimated intervention effect was found.
This randomized controlled trial showed that ALV were unable to improve serum retinol, serum ferritin or Hb if there are only mild deficiencies present. Furthermore, despite the low Zn status in the study population, ALV consumption did not improve serum Zn concentrations either.
To explore associations between household food security and home gardening, use of soya and pressure cooker ownership in low-income households affected by HIV/AIDS in Aurangabad, India.
Cross-sectional pilot study which assessed household food security using the validated US Department of Agriculture's food security core-module questionnaire. Questions were added to explore household environment, education, occupation, home gardening, use of soya and pressure cooker ownership. Households with very low v. low food security were compared using logistic regression analysis, controlling for confounding by socio-economic status.
Aurangabad is an urban setting situated in a primarily agricultural dependent area. The study was carried out in 2008, at the peak of the global food crisis.
Adult caregivers of children affiliated with the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Aurangabad.
All except for one of 133 households were identified as food insecure (99·2 %). Of these households, 35·6 % had to cut size or skip a meal in the past 30 d. Households that cut meal size due to cooking fuel shortages were more likely to have very low food security (OR = 4·67; 95 % CI 1·62, 13·44) compared with households having no cooking fuel shortages. Owning a pressure cooker was shown to be protective against very low food security after controlling for confounding by socio-economic status (OR = 0·27; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·64).
Only pressure cooker ownership showed a protective association with low household food security. Pressure cookers save household fuel costs. Therefore, future interventions should explore pressure cookers as a sustainable means of improving household food security.
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