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Consumption of Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Predicts Vitamin A and Iron Intake and Status among Female Small-Scale Farmers in Tanzania

1
Institute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
2
Department of Food Technology, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro 3006, Tanzania
3
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051025
Received: 6 April 2019 / Revised: 28 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
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Abstract

Inadequate consumption of micronutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and meat are an important contributing cause for anemia and deficiencies of iron and vitamin A in rural communities of Tanzania. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016 to examine nutritional and micronutrient status and their associations to the diet of female small-scale farmers in the sub-humid Kilosa (n = 333) and the semi-arid Chamwino (n = 333) districts, in the Morogoro and Dodoma region. An overall higher prevalence of overweight (19.7%) and obesity (7.1%) than of underweight (5.9%) was detected. Significantly more women in the two villages of Kilosa (27–40%) than in the two villages of Chamwino district (19–21%) were overweight/obese, but also more frequently had anemia (34–41% vs. 11–17%), iron deficiency (24–32% vs. 15–17%), and low serum retinol (21–24% vs. 8–9%). Overall, only a small proportion of women reached recommended daily micronutrient intakes: 27% for vitamin A, 17% for iron, 7% for zinc, and 12–38% for B-vitamins. The amount of dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV) consumed was the main determinant of vitamin A and iron intake by women in Chamwino and corresponded to higher hemoglobin, serum retinol and iron status than in the villages of the Kilosa district; in agreement, DGLV consumption also predicted iron and vitamin A intake in Kilosa district. DGLV consumed with wholemeal millet was advantageous in terms of women’s vitamin A and iron intake and status over the predominantly maize-rice-based diet lacking vegetables. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dark green leafy vegetables; vitamin A; carotenoids; iron; small-scale farmers; anemia; micronutrient intake; micronutrient status; overweight; Tanzania Dark green leafy vegetables; vitamin A; carotenoids; iron; small-scale farmers; anemia; micronutrient intake; micronutrient status; overweight; Tanzania
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Stuetz, W.; Gowele, V.; Kinabo, J.; Bundala, N.; Mbwana, H.; Rybak, C.; Eleraky, L.; Lambert, C.; Biesalski, H.K. Consumption of Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Predicts Vitamin A and Iron Intake and Status among Female Small-Scale Farmers in Tanzania. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1025.

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