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Public Health Nutr. 2014 Dec;17(12):2798-805. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013003212. Epub 2013 Nov 28.

Liver intake in 24-59-month-old children from an impoverished South African community provides enough vitamin A to meet requirements.

Author information

1
1Integrated Nutrition Programme,Department of Health,Northern Cape,South Africa.
2
2Nutritional Intervention Research Unit,Medical Research Council,PO Box 19070,Tygerberg 7505,Cape Town,South Africa.
3
3Biostatistics Unit,Medical Research Council,Cape Town,South Africa.
4
4Division of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,Stellenbosch University,Stellenbosch,South Africa.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the contribution of liver to the vitamin A intake of 24-59-month-old children from an impoverished South African community where liver is frequently consumed and vitamin A deficiency previously shown to be absent.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

SETTING:

Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

SUBJECTS:

Children aged 24-59 months (n 150). Vitamin A intake from liver was assessed using a single 24 h recall and a quantified liver frequency questionnaire. In addition, information on vitamin A intake via the national fortification programme was obtained from the 24 h recall and information on vitamin A supplementation from the Road-to-Health Chart. Height, weight and socio-economic data were also collected.

RESULTS:

Stunting, underweight and wasting were prevalent in 36·9 %, 25·5 % and 12·1 % of children. Mean daily vitamin A intake from liver was 537 and 325 μg retinol equivalents measured by the 24 h recall and liver frequency questionnaire, respectively. Liver was consumed in 92·7 % of households and by 84·7 % of children; liver intake was inversely related to socio-economic status (P < 0·05). The food fortification programme contributed 80 μg retinol equivalents and the vitamin A supplementation programme 122 μg retinol equivalents to daily vitamin A intake.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study showed that liver alone provided more than 100 % of the Estimated Average Requirement of the pre-school children in this impoverished community. The results also challenge the notion generally held by international health bodies that vitamin A deficiency, poor anthropometric status and poverty go together, and reinforces the fact that South Africa is a culturally diverse society for which targeted interventions are required.

PMID:
24476795
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980013003212
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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