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Linking fortification to decreased anemia in Colombia

Photograph: Boris Heger/EC/ECHO

Linking Fortification to Decreased Anemia in Colombia

Scientists at Emory University participated in an international collaboration with the Food Fortification Initiative and Universidad Nacional de Colombia that found Colombian preschool children who ate foods containing fortified wheat flour, such as bread and pasta, were less likely to have anemia than those who ate few fortified wheat flour foods. Helena Pachón, Emory professor and senior nutrition scientist for the Food Fortification Initiative, and Amy Fothergill, a doctoral candidate at Cornell University and former Emory public health associate,  were among the researchers involved in the study.

The study analyzed data collected from a 2005 national nutrition survey to evaluate the impact of eating fortified foods on Colombians’ health, the first study of its kind since Colombia set standards for mandatory wheat flour fortification in 1996. At that time, Colombia also required millers to fortify wheat flour and food producers to use fortified wheat flour in processed foods. These standards aimed to ensure people received the iron, folic acid, calcium (optional), riboflavin, thiamin and niacin they need to lead healthy, productive lives and prevent conditions such as anemia.

Read the publication here.