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Micronutrient malnutrition is a large public health problem in many developing countries, butits dimensions and determinants are not yet clearly understood, especially with respect to sub-Saharan Africa. Based on 24-hour recall data from rural households in Rwanda, Uganda andTanzania, this study analyzes dietary patterns to provide a comprehensive picture of the riskof micronutrient deficiencies, with particular emphasis on bioavailable vitamin A, iron andzinc intakes. The results confirm that micronutrient deficiencies are widespread and positivelycorrelated with calorie deficiency. Regression analysis suggests that income growth will bringabout important nutritional improvements. However, more targeted interventions are needed,especially for controlling vitamin A deficiency. Promising avenues include basic education,women empowerment, promotion of home gardens, awareness campaigns and vitamin Abiofortification. Spatial differences within and across regions indicate that detailed knowledgeof local conditions is imperative for designing and targeting effective food and nutritionpolicies.

Keywords: micronutrient deficiency ; determinants ; nutrient intake ; dietary patterns ; EastAfrica

Subject(s): Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety

Issue Date: 2010-06

Publication Type: Journal Article

PURL Identifier: Published in: African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 04, Number 2 Page range: 175-194

Total Pages: 20

Record appears in: African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) > African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Autor: Ecker, Olivier ; Weinberger, Katinka ; Qaim, Matin


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