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J Family Med Prim Care. 2018 Jan-Feb;7(1):77-80. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_239_17.

Effectiveness of iron-fortified infant cereals on hemoglobin levels of children aged 12-24 months: A cross-sectional study from New Delhi, India.

Author information

Pediatric Clinic, B. L. Kapur Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Department of Neonatal, Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, B. L. Kapur Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Children's Clinic, New Delhi, India.
Kulkarni Children's Medical Centre, New Delhi, India.
Nestle Nutrition, New Delhi, India.
Nestle Nutrition, South Asia Region, Gurugram, Haryana, India.



Iron deficiency anemia represents 3rd largest disease burden, with an estimated 6.9 billion disability-adjusted life years. Iron-fortified cereals (IFIC) can contribute substantially in preventing iron deficiency anemia and maintaining an adequate body iron status. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of IFIC intake along with other complementary food/s on the hemoglobin (hb) level of children from 12 to 24 months of age.

Materials and Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2015 to February 2016 in three pediatric outpatient clinics of New Delhi, India. A predesigned questionnaire was used to elicit information on socio-demography, complementary feeding, and intake of IFIC from 66 mother and child pairs. Child's anthropometric measurement and hb levels were recorded by the pediatrician. Chi-square and Student's t-tests were used to compare the key study variables between IFIC (minimum 1-2 serving/day) and non-IFIC groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis was applied to explore the independent correlates of anemia in the study groups.


Out of 66 children, 60.6% (n = 40) of children were boys. The prevalence of anemia (hb% <11 g/dl) was 42.4% (95% confidence interval (CI): 30.5%-55.2%, n = 28). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the children in IFIC group were unlikely to be anemic (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 0.007, 95% CI: 0.001-0.079, P < 0.001). On the contrary, boys (adjusted OR: 11.6, 95% CI: 1.23-108.9, P = 0.032) and children with low birth weight (adjusted OR: 11.7, 95% CI: 1.23-111.76, P = 0.032) were associated with anemic status.


Intake of IFIC (minimum 1-2 serving/day) was associated with the lesser chance of anemia in children of 12-24 months. However, gender and low birth weight were also associated with anemia. IFIC may have a role in mass fortification programs. However, further larger and controlled studies are recommended to test this hypothesis.


Anemia; children; iron-fortified cereal

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