Poster Topical Area: Global Nutrition
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 542
Objectives: To collate a longitudinal database on micronutrient fortification and supplementation policies for children <5 years of age and pregnant and lactating women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Methods: We used a systematic, multi-step approach to quantitatively characterize national food fortification and micronutrient supplementation policies for iron, vitamin A, and iodine, in LMICs. Relevant policy documents were identified through a systematic search of multiple resources, including the Global Fortification Data Exchange, the Global database on the Implementation of Nutrition Action (GINA), WHO Country Planning Cycle database, and international, regional and national governmental policy repositories. Longitudinal data on key characteristics of food fortification and supplementation policies, including the year of policy publication, number and types of food vehicles fortified, and the target age group for supplementation, were abstracted and systematically coded for each country. Overall and nutrient-specific (i.e. iron, vitamin A, and iodine) cumulative variables were constructed to summarize the type of policies, the number of unique vehicles fortified, and the number of discrete age groups targeted for supplementation in each country over time.
Results: Of the 52 countries included in the database, the majority of countries (46; 88%) implemented fortification and supplementation policies after the year 2000. As expected, the cumulative number of vehicles fortified with iron, vitamin A, or iodine in a given country increased over time, from a maximum of 2 vehicles before 1990 to up to 7 vehicles in some countries by 2017. Similarly, the cumulative number of unique age groups targeted for supplementation with iron, vitamin A or iodine increased from 1 before 1990 to up to 13 groups by 2017. Although there is substantial variation among countries, these data demonstrate continued political commitment towards national nutrition policies to improve micronutrient status.
Conclusions: This database is a novel resource for global policy analysis in micronutrient research and is the initial step in our planned empirical evaluation of the impact of fortification and supplementation policies on the prevalence of micronutrient malnutrition among young children in LMICs.
Funding for this research was provided by the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health Catalyst Grant Competition.
Salary support for VP was derived from the Mining4Life Chair's Fund.
Department of Epidemiology, University of Toronto; Centre for Global Child Health, Hospital for Sick Children
Toronto, Ontario, Canada