Vitamin and Mineral Status Worldwide: What We Know and the Challenges Ahead
Posted on November 30, 2014
MI’s Director, Research and Evaluation and Chief Technical Advisor Dr. Luz Maria De-Regil, is the author of the 2014 Global Nutrition Report’s Technical Note 12: “Vitamin and Mineral Status Worldwide: What We Know and the Challenges Ahead”
“During the last 20 years, micronutrient surveillance and intervention efforts have focused mostly on vitamin A, iodine, and anemia (as a proxy of iron status). Although work is ongoing to better understand the distribution of other micronutrient deficiencies, our current global understanding is still limited to these three indicators.
Global micronutrient status has improved modestly over the last two decades, but around two billion people suffer from at least one vitamin or mineral deficiency. Anemia prevalence in 2011 was 29 percent, 38 percent, and 43 percent in nonpregnant women, pregnant women, and children 6–59 months of age, respectively (Stevens et al 2013). In 2011, 32 countries had inadequate iodine intake, based on data from school-age children (Zimmerman and Andersson 2012). In 2012, vitamin A deficiency affected almost 30 percent of children under age 5 in low- and middle-income countries (Stevens et al 2014), and data are insufficient to estimate current vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women, which in 2005 was 15.3 percent (WHO 2009). Deficiencies remain high in the poorest regions of the world, particularly in South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara, and the extent to which multiple deficiencies overlap in these settings is still not well documented.”
The full note can be accessed on the Global Nutrition Report website: