Age and Gender as Factors in the Distribution of Global Micronutrient Deficiencies

Authors

  • Patrick Webb PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
      Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, 150 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111; Phone: 617–636–3779; Fax: 617–636–3781; E-mail: patrick.webb@tufts.edu.
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  • Chizuru Nishida PhD,

    1. Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD), World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland
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  • Ian Darnton-Hill MBBS, MPH

    1. Nutrition Section, UNICEF New York, and the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University, New York.
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Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, 150 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111; Phone: 617–636–3779; Fax: 617–636–3781; E-mail: patrick.webb@tufts.edu.

Abstract

Although micronutrient deficiency is a global problem, the burden is not evenly shared within affected households. This review suggests that there are important non-linearities in relationships among food intake, sharing, and caring behavior within the household. Since micronutrient status relates to interactions among biological, social, behavioral, economic, and environmental processes, outcomes are not always predictable by age, gender, or location. Understanding such variability is crucial to identifying appropriate solutions. This review represents an exploratory first step toward unmasking population-specific variations that are important for better understanding the nature of micronutrient deficiencies and for improving the focus of public health action

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