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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


PITA-RODRIGUEZ, Gisela et al. Low consumption of iron-containing foods and enhancer of iron absorption are associated with anemia in preschool children of the eastern provinces of Cuba: 2005-2011. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.3, pp.224-234. ISSN 0717-7518.

Anemia in children less than five years of age is the main nutritional problem in Cuba. The aim of this study was to assess the intake of iron-rich foods (IRF) and of enhancers of iron absorption (EIA) in children living in the five eastern provinces of Cuba and its association with anemia in 2005, 2008 and 2011. A food frequency questionnaire of 6 months and hemoglobin determination were used. Intake increased in red meat and poultry (44.2% to 60.4%), eggs (38.7% to 58.6%) and vegetables (47.6% to 56.2%); decreased in fruit (73.2% to 55.8%) and legumes (87.7% to 57.7%). The prevalence of anemia in children 6 to 11 months old showed a decrease (62.1% to 44.3%). A reduction in the prevalence of anemia in infants 12-23 months old was found in 2008 compared with 2005 and reversed slightly in 2011, a similar finding was observed in children 2-5 years old. There was a consistent association of anemia with low intake of eggs, vegetables and fruits, but and not with low intake of legumes. Children who attended daycare center ate more iron-rich foods and enhancers of iron absorption than those who did not. The group of children younger than 24 months old remains the most vulnerable group for anemia.

Keywords : meals rich in iron; anemia; toddlers; daycare center.

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