Consumption of Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Predicts Vitamin A and Iron Intake and Status among Female Small-Scale Farmers in Tanzania

STUETZ, W., GOWELE, V., KINABO, J., BUNDALA, N.,MBWANA, H., RYBAK, C., ELERAKY,L., LAMBERT, C. & BIESALSKI, H.K. 2019: Inadequate consumption of micronutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and meat are an important contributing cause for anemia and deficiencies of iron and vitamin A in rural communities of Tanzania. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016 to examine nutritional and micronutrient status and their associations to the diet of female small-scale farmers in the sub-humid Kilosa (n = 333) and the semi-arid Chamwino (n = 333) districts, in the Morogoro and Dodoma region. An overall higher prevalence of overweight (19.7%) and obesity (7.1%) than of underweight (5.9%) was detected. Significantly more women in the two villages of Kilosa (27–40%) than in the two villages of Chamwino district (19–21%) were overweight/obese, but also more frequently had anemia (34–41% vs. 11–17%), iron deficiency (24–32% vs. 15–17%), and low serum retinol (21–24% vs. 8–9%). Overall, only a small proportion of women reached recommended daily micronutrient intakes: 27% for vitamin A, 17% for iron, 7% for zinc, and 12–38% for B-vitamins. The amount of dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV) consumed was the main determinant of vitamin A and iron intake by women in Chamwino and corresponded to higher hemoglobin, serum retinol and iron status than in the villages of the Kilosa district; in agreement, DGLV consumption also predicted iron and vitamin A intake in Kilosa district. DGLV consumed with wholemeal millet was advantageous in terms of women’s vitamin A and iron intake and status over the predominantly maize-rice-based diet lacking vegetables.

Download PDF

Scale-N is financed by BMEL
Scale-N Zalf