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Rev Saude Publica. 2007 Aug;41(4):539-48.

[Effect of iron fortification of flour on anemia in preschool children in Pelotas, Brazil].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Departamento de Nutrição, Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brasil.



Iron fortification of flour has been sanctioned by the Brazilian government since 2004. The objective of the study was to assess the impact of flour fortification on hemoglobin level in children under six.


A time-series study was carried out in Pelotas, southern Brazil, consisting of three assessments at a 12-month interval. In May 2004, before flour fortification, hemoglobin measurements were obtained in a probabilistic sample of 453 children. Twelve and 24 months later, samples of 923 and 863 children were studied, respectively.


The three groups studied were comparable in terms of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. At baseline, mean hemoglobin was 11.3 +/- 2.8 g/dL. In the post-fortification period, means were 11.2 +/- 2.8 (at 12 months) and 11.3 +/- 2.5 g/dL (at 24 months), with no statistically significant difference among the three time periods studied (p=0.16).


Fortification had no effect on hemoglobin levels of the children studied. This finding could be partially due to inadequate flour intake and/or low bioavailability of dietary iron.

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