[Pre-cooked corn flour intake and its contribution of iron and vitamin A in low income preschoolers]

Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2002 Sep;52(3):274-81.
[Article in Spanish]


The objective of this study was to determine whether the addition of iron and vitamin A (VA) to corn flour, supplied through a national enrichment program since 1993, allows preschoolers to achieve an adequate intake of these nutrients. Data from the assessment of 196 children (4-6 year old) from Valencia, Venezuela is presented, including socio-demographic, anthropometric, anemia, VA deficiency (by conjunctival impression cytology (CIC) and serum retinol), and food intake. 92% of the children lived in poverty. 12% were below the norm for weight-for-height. 13% had anemia, 9% had VA deficiency according to CIC, and 0.5% according to serum retinol (< 0.70 mumol/L), 30% were at risk of VA deficiency (0.70-1.05 mmol/L). 17%, 37%, and 5% of the sample had an insufficient intake (< 80% of RDA) of energy, iron, and VA, respectively. When excluding from the analysis the amount of iron and VA from corn flour enrichment, an additional 38% and 10% of the sample showed deficient intakes of each nutrient, respectively. According to the weight-for-height indicator, iron intake was significantly lower in undernourished children (p < 0.05) than in those normal or above the norm; this was not so for VA. It is concluded that iron enrichment contributes to the improvement of the intake of this nutrient but is not enough to provide an adequate amount of it; and that the addition of VA does not seem to have an important effect on the diet of this age group.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / diet therapy
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Flour*
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Health Planning
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Venezuela
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin A Deficiency / diet therapy
  • Vitamin A Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Zea mays*


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Vitamin A