What Can I Do About Nutritional Anemia?

Nutritional anemia is most commonly caused by iron deficiency, but it may also be caused by deficiencies in other nutrients such as riboflavin, vitamin B12, and zinc. Food fortification is listed as a "relevant intervention" in this list of six key actions to prevent anemia.

  • For ideas about what you can do to prevent nutritional anemia, click on the questions below.

  • For examples of what it is like to have nutritional anemia, see these stories.

  • For more information, see Nutritional Anemia published by Sight and Life Press, 2007.

1.) What can government leaders do? >>

  • LegislationIf your country has a flour fortification program, compare the nutrient standards to the World Health Organization recommendations for wheat and maize flour fortification. In particular, look at the type of iron and amount of iron used. If your country has a rice fortification program, compare the standards to the recommendations in Table 3 of this article in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. If your fortification standard is not consistent with those recommendations, and no other foods are effectively fortified with those nutrients, the fortification program may not be achieving the desired health impact. Begin the legal process to update the fortification standard.
  • Review your fortification legislation to see if imported premix (the powdery blend of vitamins and minerals added to flour) and fortified rice kernels are exempt from value added tax, tariffs, and duties. If not, seek to allow this exemption as a relief to industry partners who pay the recurring cost of buying these items.
  • If your country does not have a fortification program, consider forming a National Fortification Alliance to work toward preventing nutritional anemia by fortifying staple foods with multiple nutrients. See other topics to consider when planning a fortification program.

2.) What can flour millers do? >>

3.) What can rice millers do? >>

4.) What can the nutrition and medical community do? >>

5.) What can consumers do? >>