Open Access Five decades of vitamin A studies in the region of Central America and Panama

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Vitamin A deficiency in Central America was first identified as a public health problem in the 1950s. It affected primarily children. The main underlying cause was a deficient intake of pre-formed vitamin A, but infection and intestinal parasitism also played important roles. INCAP focused its efforts on overcoming this problem and developed, as a short-term solution, the technology to fortify sugar with vitamin A. Fortification programs were implemented in several Central American countries. Evaluation of these programs revealed a significant impact—not only on vitamin A status, but also on iron nutrition and hematological condition. Longer-term solutions, like increasing the availability and consumption of vitamin A-rich foods, were later suggested and operational tools were developed to assist the countries in the region in the implementation, evaluation and monitoring of their own fortification programs.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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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