Negev nutritional studies: Nutritional deficiencies in young and elderly populations

Drora Fraser, Danit Shahar, Iris Shai, Hillel Vardi, Natalya Bilenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The importance of nutrition to public health and preventive medicine is evident. Undernutrition is a main nutritional risk factor in the elderly and has been established as a cause of excess morbidity and mortality in different segments of the older population. In the infant population, inadequate nutrition is one of the causes of iron-deficiency anemia, which is associated with impaired physical and cognitive development and lowered immunity. The aim of this paper was to estimate the nutritional pattern and micronutritient deficiencies in elderly and young populations in the Negev. In southern Israel, 351 subjects over 64 years old reported mean dietary intake that was lower than that in younger persons and was independent of the presence of chronic diseases. Current data from southern Israel on healthy Jewish children revealed anemia prevalence of 15% in the second year of life. Data from recent prospective study on Bedouin children showed that anemia affected one quarter of children at age one year. Thus, infants in this area are at high risk for iron deficiency. The findings require the attention of public health authorities and food manufacturers, and should result in a range of activities including publicity and educational programs, fortification of foods, and supplementation programs in high risk-groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalPublic Health Reviews
Volume28
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2000

Keywords

  • Anemia
  • Children
  • Elderly
  • Micronutrient deficiency
  • Nutrition

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