Iron in the diets of rural Honduran women and children

Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Anne J. Swindale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Iron deficiency, a major cause of nutritional anemia, is the most prevalent micronutrient deficiency in the world. One of the main causes of iron deficiency anemia in developing countries is poor availability of absorbable iron from the diet. This study investigates the level of iron intake, bio-availability, and adequacy in the diets of women and children in the rural west of Honduras. We find that the dietary iron status of this population is very poor. Fifty-seven percent of the children under one year of age and 23% of 1 to 2 year olds are likely to have inadequate intakes to prevent iron deficiency anemia. Almost all of the pregnant women and 33% of the non-pregnant non-lactating women are at risk of developing iron deficiency anemia. The corn based Honduran diet, owing to high phytate levels, has a low bio-availability for iron. Extremely low intakes of fruits and vegetables and of meats, coupled with significant intake of coffee by all age groups, further limits the availability of dietary iron in the Honduran population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-306
Number of pages22
JournalEcology of Food Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Anemia
  • Bio-availability
  • Children
  • Enhancers
  • Honduras
  • Inhibitors
  • Iron
  • Low-income
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Iron in the diets of rural Honduran women and children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this