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Recommending vitamin A–rich foods in southern Thailand

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Thailand is classified by the World Health Organization as a country with a moderate level of subclinical vitamin A deficiency. In 1992 the eruption of infant xerophthalmia in the country's lower region led to the universal distribution of vitamin A capsules among infants (50,000 IU for those < 6 months old, 100,000 IU for those 6–12 months old) and pre-school children (200,000 IU) in high-risk areas every 6 months. Since then, no new cases of xerophthalmia have arisen. The universal distribution programme covered the period 1992 to 1998. However, to control the problem and prevent it from reoccurring once capsule distribution is discontinued, a food-based strategy for the prevention of vitamin A deficiency is being undertaken in southern Thailand. This strategy has two components: recommendation of vitamin A–rich food recipes for consumption by pregnant women, and development of vitamin A–rich snacks targeted at children. Both of these components have been adopted and successfully promoted by the Health Promotion Center (Region 12) in southern Thailand as part of public special events, regular counselling, and education programmes, and as micro-level income-generation projects by community women's groups.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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