Strategies to combat

Lesson 9 : Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD)

Strategies to combat

Vitamin A deficiency is one of the simplest preventable nutrition disorders.

    • Periodic dosing (supplementation of Vit A)
    • Dietary modifications to promote production and consumption of Vit A/β-carotene rich foods through nutrition education and or horticulture intervention
    • Fortification of commonly and widely consumed foods with vit A are the strategies needed.

  1. Periodic dosing of Vitamin A: Oral supplementation of 2 lack I.U of vit A to young children (1-6 years) once in 6 months.

  2. Dietary modification: Inclusion of foods rich in Vit A or its precursor, in the daily diets is the most rational and sustainable long term solution to control Vit A deficiency.
    1. Major inexpensive dietary sources of pro vitamin A are dark green leafy vegetables and deep yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.
    2. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, amaranth, spinach, drum stick leaves, agasthi etc which are affordable by the rural or urban poor are ubiquitous in India.
    3. Vit A is found only in animal foods such as egg yolk, fish liver, animal liver and dairy products.
    4. Promotion of home gardening along with appropriate food promotion technology.
    5. Promotion of production of β-carotene rich fruits and vegetables.
    6. Nutrition education, through appropriate communication procedures, is an important tool to increase awareness and improve consumption of Vit A foods.
    7. Social marketing strategies i.e adopting marketing methods to promote social goals like nutrition, are increasingly being used for nutrition and health education
    8. Multidisciplinary approach with expertise from the fields of agronomy, horticulture, education, communication and health improve availability and consumption of vit A rich foods.
    9. UN agencies like FAO and UNICEF, SAUS, ICAR and FNB of GOI are making efforts in the direction of horticulture intervention for promotion of Vit A nutrition.

  3. Food fortification: Fortification or enrichment of widely consumed foods with Vit A is another strategy to prevent and control Vit A deficiency.
    In India , foods like vanaspathi (hydrogenated oil) bread, salt and milk are fortified with Vit A in limited scale and are quite expensive and out of reach for poor.
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Last modified: Friday, 2 December 2011, 12:37 PM