strategy

Studying micronutrient deficiencies

Synonyms:
Researching incidence of human deficiency disorders
Studying human diseases caused by dietary deficiency
Context:
Micronutrient deficiencies in humans have been recognized as the world's most important primary health care problem. Billions of people worldwide, mostly those in developing countries who staple diet in cereals, are dangerously low in micronutrients such as iron, zinc, iodine and Vitamin C. The lack of such basic micronutrients affects brain development in the foetus and infants during the first two years of life. This is often irreversible, lowering IQ and affecting cognitive levels. More than 2,200 million people are deficient in iron, most of them women and children. Zinc deficiency is considered to be equally serious and widespread, although diagnosis is difficult and meaningful numbers are not available. It is estimated that 1,000 million humans worldwide are deficient in iodine and Vitamin A deficiency is widespread, clinically affecting 40 million pre-schoolers worldwide.

The most serious dietary deficiencies are: protein-calorie malnutrition (because of its high mortality rate, its wide prevalence and the irreversible physical and mental damage it may cause); xerophthalmia, vitamin A deficiency, (because of its contribution to mortality of malnourished children, its relatively wide prevalence and the dramatic irreversible damage it causes, namely blindness); nutritional anaemias, iron deficiency anaemia and megaloblastic anaemias (because of their wide distribution, their contribution to mortality from many other conditions and their effects on working capacity); endemic goitre, iodine deficiency, (because of its wide distribution). In some specific areas of the world, other nutritional problems such as beriberi, vitamin B1 deficiency; pellagra, nicotinic acid deficiency associated with protein deficiency; or rickets, vitamin D deficiency, may be of considerable importance.

Claim:
An improvement in micronutrient health from conception onwards would raise IQ globally to the point where many more people would be able to control their own destinies. This could lead to a lowering of the birth rate in developing countries (which is poverty linked), and to improvement of overall health and work capacity.
Organizations:
World Health Organization
Subjects:
Human
Pathology
Deprivation
Study
Research
Nutrition
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies