Food consumption and iron intake of pregnant and reproductive aged women

Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2010 Mar-Apr;18(2):247-54. doi: 10.1590/s0104-11692010000200016.


This study compares the eating habits and consumption of natural and fortified iron sources in pregnant and reproductive aged women. This cross-sectional study was developed in a health center located in São Paulo, SP, Brazil. We studied 61 women, of which 30 were pregnant. A food frequency questionnaire and a 24-hour recall instrument were used. The main natural sources of iron were beans and greens, although fortified foods were also an important source. There was little statistically significant difference between the food consumption of pregnant and non-pregnant women. Inadequate intake of iron, folate and calcium was observed in both groups. Non-pregnant women meet the iron recommendation, considering the iron added in fortified foods, though pregnant women do not. These results suggest the need for mixed strategies: food fortification, iron supplements for pregnant women and nutritional instruction for women in general.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Humans
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult


  • Iron, Dietary