NEWS

August 25, 2019

The Silent Epidemic: Iron deficiency is suffocating our teen girls

As World Iron Awareness Week kicks off, Beef + Lamb New Zealand shines a spotlight on the epidemic young women are facing in relation to iron deficiency for meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike.

 

In bringing together leading experts from across the New Zealand nutrition spectrum Nikki Hart (Registered Nutritionist), Dr Claire Badenhorst (Massey University), Ashia Ismail- Singer (Author and School Nurse), and Jeni Pearce along with Rachel Stentiford (High Performance Sport New Zealand), the serious issue has been brought to light via the latest Let’s Talk Food NZ podcast.

 

LISTEN TO THE LET’S TALK FOOD NZ PODCAST HERE.

 

Dr Claire Badenhorst, whose research expertise lies in the field of exercise physiology investigating the impact of iron deficiency within endurance athletes, was unequivocal in her assessment of the current crisis facing young women and iron deficiency.

 

“From what I am seeing in my work there is a significant proportion of women who are suffering from the impacts of low iron levels. I know the implications of iron deficiency first hand as I am someone who struggles to maintain healthy levels of iron and I can tell you, it’s like your body is being suffocated. It can be debilitating.”

 

Dr Badenhorst continued: “I am lucky in the sense that I am mindful of my struggles with iron and can manage them accordingly. However, many women, especially young girls, are not aware as symptoms are often attributed to just being busy and not getting enough sleep.”

 

From a sport point of view, Jeni Pearce highlighted that prevention of low iron is the goal.

 

“Low or reduced iron levels may effect energy levels and performance and it can take three months or more to replenish low iron stores in the body. The key is to include dietary sources of iron (meat and non-meat) in your meals and snacks on a daily basis, especially while growing and for those who are active.  This will help keep energy levels up and enhance the enjoyment of sport.”

 

One billion people globally are estimated by the World Health Organisation to be suffering from iron deficiency anaemia[1]. Although iron deficiency anaemia occurs at all ages and involves both the sexes, adolescent girls are more prone to it. The highest prevalence of global iron deficiency anaemia is between the ages of 12 and 15 years when requirements are at peak. In some countries, up to 50% of adolescent girls have been reported to be anaemic[2].

 

Here in Aotearoa, the statistics don’t look much better. Based on the most recent national nutrition survey from 2009[3], one in fourteen women are iron deficient and, worryingly, a third of teenage girls do not achieve their daily iron requirements, with more research needed to understand the current situation.

 

What has this meant for our already under pressure district health boards? Hospital admissions - primarily due to iron deficiency anaemia - has crept up from an annual $3.2 million to $6.7m over the past 10 years, according to Ministry of Health figures[4] and over the past three years the Ministry of Health has spent a staggering $20 million on treating iron deficiency.

 

Fiona Windle, Head of Nutrition at Beef + Lamb New Zealand, made it clear that this epidemic is something we can get a grip of, and it’s not just a matter about whether someone is a meat eater or not:

 

“Modifying your diet in a few simple ways can help contribute to maintaining healthy iron levels. For example, eating lots of vitamin C-rich veges with a serving of beef or lamb, can help boost iron absorption from the meal. Equally avoiding drinking tea and coffee around meal times can also make a big difference.”

 

For those opting to be vegetarian or vegan, Nikki Hart highlights during the podcast discussion, “It’s simply not about taking meat off the plate, and just eating the side of veges. Careful consideration needs to be given to what replaces the nutritious animal protein.  Seeing a Registered Nutritionist or Dietitian can be useful particularly for our very active teens”, emphasises Ms Hart.

 

However, Mrs Windle reiterated: “There are many causes of iron deficiency and we would highly recommend anyone suffering from persisting symptoms to go and see their GP to get a blood test first.”

 

For anyone looking for information on iron deficiency should head to ironweek.co.nz.

ENDS

 

References:

[1] Murray CJL, Salomon JA, Mathers CD, Lopez AD. The global burden of disease. Geneva: World Health Organization. (2002).

[2] Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Adolescents. Role of Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation. World Health Organisation. (2011).

[3] University of Otago and Ministry of Health. (2011). A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

[4] Stuff.co.nz More spent on low iron hospitalisations as meat intake 1st January 2019 declineshttps://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/108767316/more-spent-on-low-iron-hospitalisations-as-meat-intake-declines

 

Contact:

 

Kit Arkwright – Marketing Manager

kit@beeflambnz.co.nz / 022 457 0557

 

Let’s Talk Food NZ panel:

 

Nikki Hart (Registered Nutritionist) – a trained dietitian and NZ registered nutritionist with over 25 years’ experience in private practice. She is also a mum to 2 teenage daughters who are National grade trampolinists so understands the importance of a good iron status on performance.

 

Dr Claire Badenhorst (Massey University) – PhD In exercise physiology, specialising in iron metabolism and female health. Lecturer at Massey University in Auckland. Claire is also a keen triathlete in her spare time.

 

Ashia Ismail-Singer (School Nurse and Author) – a Registered Nurse with 25 years in the profession and currently School Nurse at Westlake Girls High School. She is food writer and author of cookbook My Indian Kitchen as well as mother to a teen daughter.

 

Jeni Pearce MNZM (High Performance Sport New Zealand) – as one of New Zealand’s leading health and sports dietitians and performance nutritionist, she is the technical lead for the Performance Nutrition team at HPSNZ. Jeni has authored 13 titles on sports nutrition and health, co-authored research articles and book chapters, and continues to lecture in University nutrition programmes and present at conferences in NZ and off shore and in 2015 she was awarded MNZM for services to Sports Nutrition.

 

Rachel Stentiford (High Performance Sport New Zealand) – is an Australian-qualified Sports Dietitian who works supporting the New Zealand Para Swimmers in their lead up to the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.  She has worked as a performance nutritionist across the world and also has clinical dietetics experience in general medicine, gastroenterology and rehabilitation. 

August 26, 2018

KIWIS ARE STRUGGLING WITH ENERGY LEVELS – ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?

As World Iron Awareness Week (27 August – 2 September) kicks off, a recent survey suggests one in five of the 990 respondents suffer from low energy levels, an often-tell-tale sign of low iron levels – the world’s most prevalent nutrient deficiency.

Asked to rate their general energy levels – one in five stated they either ‘always’ or ‘often’ struggle to get through an average day.

The survey also delved down into the eating habits of participants, with over 50% of the low energy sufferers stating they eat red meat – which provides the most bioavailable source of iron – only twice or less a week. It therefore may come as no surprise that many Kiwis, including 1 in 14 New Zealand women (1), suffer from low iron levels.

Another alarming trend discovered from the survey was of those that stated they were suffering from low energy levels, over 85% were not consuming the five plus recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables per day.

When comparing eating habits to those who stated they had high energy levels, these people were more likely to be eating the recommended daily intake of at least five fruit and vegetables per day, as well as more likely to be eating red meat three to four times per week – which aligns with current nutrition recommendations.

Nikki Hart, a New Zealand Registered Nutritionist with 20 years’ experience, says it best: “Low iron has a direct impact on quality of life. Low energy and low concentration levels hinder the ability to carry out everyday tasks well, including childrens’ performance at school and adults in the workplace.”

“Against a backdrop of continuous conflicting nutritional information, this campaign addresses an issue that can be rectified, in part, by bringing eating habits back to basics: eat in moderation and enjoy a diet with a wide variety of whole foods – this is the best mantra not just for your iron levels, but all your dietary requirements.”

Of the 35% of respondents that had at some point been diagnosed by a health professional with low iron levels before, it was reassuring some acted by adjusting their diets including increasing red meat and leafy green vegetable intake, as well as a small proportion decreasing tea and coffee intake with meals – which contain known inhibitors of iron absorption. In some cases, a dietary supplement is required and this was the action of two thirds of the respondents who had been diagnosed.

For anyone concerned with their own or a family member’s iron levels, they are urged to see their GP, registered dietitian or registered nutritionist.  

April 23, 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON INADEQUATE DIETS OF NZ PREGNANT WOMEN

Soon-to-be mums are missing out on key nutrients by not following current recommendations about what to eat during pregnancy, amplifying conditions such as iron deficiency anaemia.   

 

A Kiwi study, made up of around 7000 children and their parents, found a staggering 97% of pregnant women do not eat according to the food and nutrition guidelines set by the Ministry of Health.

 

The study, titled Growing Up In New Zealand, found only one in five women met the specific recommendation to eat at least two serves of protein foods, such as lean meat, fish and eggs, each day.  

 

Women require 2-3 times more iron than normal during pregnancy and to meet this significant increase, and prevent deficiency, it is necessary to eat a variety of iron-rich foods each day.

 

Consequences of iron deficiency and anaemia in pregnancy include postnatal depression, fatigue, difficulties with bonding and breastfeeding, and increased risk of infection. Women may also struggle to cope with normal blood loss at delivery.

 

Study author and head of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Auckland, Dr Clare Wall, says iron is important for both the mother’s health during pregnancy, and for the developing foetus. Ensuring adequate iron in pregnancy can also assist with successful breastfeeding.

 

“It is recommended pregnant women consume two serves of protein rich foods per day. This can include lean meat which provides a valuable source of easily absorbed iron,” says Dr Wall.

 

Iron deficiency remains an ongoing problem in New Zealand with one in 14 New Zealand women low in iron and many not getting enough iron in their diet each day. It also persists as the most widespread nutritional disorder in the world.

 

The Ministry of Health’s Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women recommend daily servings of four main food groups, which include fruit and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and milk products, and lean meat, meat alternatives and eggs.

 

The lean meat, meat alternatives and eggs group provides essential nutrients needed in greater amounts during pregnancy, including iron. 

 

Iron is vitally important for early brain development and to provide for the mothers increased blood volume which makes iron rich foods, such as lean red meat, a key role at this time.

 

It is widely acknowledged the haem iron found in animal foods is absorbed at a much higher rate than non-haem iron found in plant foods, all the more reason to eat a varied diet which includes both types of iron.

 

Those concerned with their dietary intake should seek advice from a registered dietitian or registered nutritionist.    

 

-- ENDS --


For more information contact:

Emily Parks

Nutrition Manager, Beef + Lamb New Zealand

emily@beeflambnz.co.nz

09 489 0877

021 184 6558
 

Background information

 

The Growing Up In New Zealand study, titled Dietary Patterns in Pregnancy in New Zealand—Influence of Maternal Socio-Demographic, Health and Lifestyle Factors, can be found at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882712/
 

World Iron Awareness Week will run May 1-7 with an aim to raise awareness on the importance of dietary iron in pregnancy, recognising the signs of low iron and what can be done about it.

 

ironweek.co.nz

#WorldIronWeek

 

A range of free resources are available at ironweek.co.nz, including Iron in Pregnancy. Are you getting enough?

  • There are two types of iron in food: haem iron (found in meat and fish) and non-haem iron (found mainly in plants). The body absorbs haem iron in meat more efficiently than non-haem iron in plant foods, at a rate of 25% compared to around 5%.  

 

  • Animal foods, like lean beef and lamb, contain a “meat factor” known to increase absorption of non-haem iron 2-4 fold.

 

  • Vitamin C increases non-haem iron absorption so it is recommended to include vitamin C rich fruit and vegetables with main meals.

 

  • A hearty chilli con carne made with lean beef and kidney beans can provide around a third of the daily iron requirements for pregnant women.

August 29, 2016

DOES YOUR TEENAGER KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THEIR DIET?

Young women are risking their mental and physical health when they cut whole food groups from their diet.

Bread, dairy products and meat are wrongly thought of as fattening foods and are often the first to be removed by teenage girls trying to lose weight.

Dietitian Sarah Hanrahan says most teenagers want to make healthy changes to their diet but aren’t relying on the right sources for nutrition advice.  

“While teenagers of course want more responsibility for food choices, they are not necessarily making informed decisions about foods they class as healthy or unhealthy,” says Dietitian, Sarah Hanrahan.

Teenage girls suffering from the ever-present pressure to be thin are more likely to eliminate red meat mistakenly thinking it is likely to cause weight gain.

In this demographic, the danger of a restrictive diet is evident as iron deficiency and anaemia are also most common among teenage girls.

Low iron can cause growing teenagers to feel weak and tired, look pale, and may impact on learning and sports performance.

Teenage girls require more iron than when they were children and more than teenage boys in the same age group.

Unnecessarily restrictive diets can lead to a multitude of other teenage issues including dry skin, breakouts, low immunity and poor sleep. Nutrient deficiencies can also impact mental health. 

“These are problems that will only increase the stress of teenage years and may be easily improved or managed by a balanced diet,” says Hanrahan.  

Lean red meat makes an important contribution to dietary iron and teenagers should be encouraged to eat moderate portions of red meat regularly.

April 17, 2016

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS KIWI MUMS CONFUSED ABOUT CHILDREN’S DIETARY IRON NEEDS

New research shows a disparity between how much dietary iron Kiwi mums believe their children need and what they are actually getting.

 

In a recent survey conducted by Nielsen, 61% of Kiwi mums believe their children get enough iron in their diet, with only 16% disagreeing.
 

However, research shows that, in New Zealand, 80% of toddlers do not receive the recommended daily intake of iron, 14% of children under the age of 2 are iron deficient and over one third of teenage girls don’t achieve their daily iron requirements.

 

Dr Pamela Von Hurst from Massey University School of Food and Nutrition says children and adolescents have an increased risk of iron deficiency.

 

“Childhood is a crucial time for optimal development and iron deficiency at this life stage can have long term effects,” says Dr Von Hurst.

 

Encouragingly when surveyed, most could identify various side effects of iron deficiency, however, only 8% could correctly identifying all signs of iron deficiency in a child.

 

If a child is low in iron or iron deficient they may show signs such as tiredness, appearing pale, irritable or grumpy, or struggle to gain weight.

 

The early stages of life are incredibly important in terms of the correct nutrient intake, with iron being crucial for brain development in babies and toddlers; at seven months a baby needs more iron than her Dad.

 

Women also need to have a heightened awareness around iron intake during pregnancy requiring greater amounts of iron each day because of increased blood volume and the nutritional requirements of the growing baby. 

 

Mothers and women are also a group most at risk of iron deficiency with one in 14 women in New Zealand low in iron. The Neilson survey showed 20% of women do not think they get enough iron in their diets.

 

For women particularly, the symptoms of low iron are similar to those which are often attributed to a busy lifestyle meaning women are not necessarily aware they are at risk.  

 

Not only an issue in New Zealand, iron deficiency is recognised by the World Health Organisation as the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world.

 

It is with this in mind, a New Zealand initiated campaign, World Iron Awareness Week, commences today, to raise awareness of the prevalence, symptoms of iron deficiency and what can be done to increase levels.
 

Massey University will be facilitating a series of events throughout World Iron Awareness Week for health professionals and the public across three campuses; Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington. For more info visit ironweek.co.nz

April 11, 2016

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH?

One in 14 New Zealand women are low in iron and eight out of 10 toddlers do not get enough dietary iron each day. These concerning statistics are what prompted the development of World Iron Awareness Week in 2014. 
 

The annual campaign highlights the prevalence of iron deficiency in New Zealand and worldwide, and aims to raise awareness on recognising the signs of low iron and what you can do about it.
 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describe iron deficiency as a public health condition of epidemic proportions and recognise it as the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, highlighting the seriousness of this issue.

Iron deficiency, and iron deficiency anaemia, can lead to feeling weak and tired, reducing work capacity in adults, and causing learning delays in children.   
 

World Iron Awareness Week will run from the 18th to 24th April 2016 and there are many opportunities to get involved and show your support:
 

  • Order iron-specific brochures from the resources section of the website ironweek.co.nz
     

  • Keep up-to-date during the week by following the hashtag #WorldIronWeek on social media
     

  • Visit recipes.co.nz to find an iron-rich recipe using New Zealand beef or lamb

April 12, 2015

WORLD IRON AWARENESS WEEK TARGETS WOMEN AGED 15-50

New Zealand women feeling tired and irritable should take note – it may be more than just the daily grind that’s getting you down.

 

At a time where diseases of overabundance are rife, dietary iron, a key essential mineral goes short in the diets of many across the globe, particularly New Zealand women aged 15-50 years.

 

Iron deficiency is recognised by the World Health Organisation as the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world. It is the only nutrient deficiency which affects people in both developing and developed countries, including New Zealand where it comes down to a lack of dietary intake.

 

WHO estimates over 30% or 2 billion of the world’s population are anaemic, many due to iron deficiency, with infectious diseases intensifying the condition in developing countries.

 

It’s not only New Zealand women that are affected by a low iron status, research has shown 8 out 10 toddlers don’t meet the recommended daily intake of dietary iron.

 

It is with this, a New Zealand initiated campaign, World Iron Awareness Week will launch April 13 to raise awareness of the prevalence, symptoms of iron deficiency and what can be done to increase levels.

 

The campaign, which was initiated last year in New Zealand has now gone global. A New Zealand website ironweek.co.nz has also been founded as a hub of information including practical steps for improving iron levels and how to recognise the signs of low iron which can present as tiredness, irritability and lack of focus. 

 

For more information contact:

Fiona Greig

Nutrition Manager

Beef + Lamb New Zealand

fionag@beeflambnz.co.nz

09 489 0877

021 133 1702

ironweek.co.nz

  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

ironweek.co.nz

#WorldIronWeek

  • Videos of 5 leading New Zealand experts talking to health professionals on dietary iron can be viewed: https://www.youtube.com/user/BeefandLamb/videos

 

 

KEY POINTS:

  • Over a third of teenage girls don’t achieve their daily iron requirements.2

  • 1 in 14 women are low in iron.2

  • 8 out of 10 toddlers don’t meet the recommended daily intake of dietary iron.3

  • At 7 months, a baby needs more iron than her dad.  Iron is crucial for brain development in babies and toddlers.

  • In developing countries every second pregnant woman and about 40% of preschool children are estimated to be anaemic.1

  • The major health consequences include poor pregnancy outcome, impaired physical and cognitive development, increased risk of morbidity in children and reduced work productivity in adults. Anaemia contributes to 20% of all maternal deaths.1

  • There are two types of iron in food: haem iron (found in meat and fish) and non-haem iron (found mainly in plants). The body absorbs the haem iron in meat much more efficiently than the non-haem iron in plant foods. For example ½ cup of cooked silverbeet contains 1.0 mg of iron, but the body can only use about 5% of this. In comparison, 120g of cooked lean beef contains at least 3.0 mg of iron and the body absorbs around 25% of it. You would need to eat over 1kg of cooked silverbeet to get the same amount of iron provided by just 120g of lean meat. This equates to a small serving of spaghetti bolognaise or a couple small lamb leg steaks.

 

  

REFERENCES:

  1. World Health Organisation http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en

  2. University of Otago and Ministry of Health. (2011). A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

  3. Wall, CR et al. (2008). Ethnic variance in iron status: is it related to dietary intake? Public Health Nutrition 12 (9):1413-1421.

March 15, 2015

NZ IRON CAMPAIGN GOES GLOBAL

13-19 April will mark this year’s World Iron Week, expanding on the New Zealand initiated ‘Are you getting enough?’ iron awareness campaign last year.  Why take it global?  The World Health Organisation recognises iron deficiency as the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world and the only nutrient deficiency which affects people in both developing and developed countries, particularly in women and children. It is estimated over 30% or 2 billion of the world’s population are anaemic, many due to iron deficiency, with infectious diseases exacerbating the condition in developing countries.  There was also support for a global campaign after presenting the concept at the International Meat Secretariat Human Nutrition and Health Committee meeting in the US last year.

 

Here in New Zealand, there are pockets of the population who have higher needs including infants, children and teenagers because they are growing rapidly; pregnant women for increased blood levels and to build baby’s iron stores; menstruating girls and women; athletes and very active people and those on restricted or fad diets. 

 

This year’s campaign focus in New Zealand will be on women aged 15-50 years who are particularly at risk of going short on iron.  Key messages of the campaign will tap into the signs of symptoms of have a low iron status, which often get put down running a busy lifestyle such as often feeling tired, grumpy, irritable and a lack of concentration.

 

--Ends--

 

For more information:

www.ironweek.co.nz Fiona Greig Nutrition Manager Beef + Lamb New Zealand

fionag@beeflambnz.co.nz

DDI 09 489 0877

021 133 1702

April 06, 2014

IRON MAIDENS ASK ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH?

Today sees the launch of Iron Awareness Week, the first campaign of its kind, with a trio of ambassadors well known to all.

 

The Iron Maidens: Sarah Walker, Lisa Carrington and Sophie Pascoe are taking their role further as Beef + Lamb New Zealand ambassadors, helping to spread the message of an issue that faces many New Zealanders, but often goes unnoticed.

 

Feeling tired, irritable and grumpy, having difficulty concentrating and feeling the cold are all symptoms of being low in iron but are usually put down to a busy lifestyle.

“More people need to be aware of these symptoms and what can be done to improve iron levels”, says Sarah Walker, BMX medallist.

 

Iron deficiency remains an ongoing concern particularly for teenagers and women. Dr Kathryn Beck of Massey University says "The latest National Nutrition Survey found over 10% of New Zealand teens (15-18 years) and women (31-50 years) had iron deficiency. Many more women are likely to have low iron stores and are at risk of developing iron deficiency".

 

Young children are also at risk with New Zealand research revealing 8 out of 10 toddlers not meeting the recommended daily intake of dietary iron and 14% of children under 2 are deficient according to New Zealand research.

 

Iron’s role in red blood cell formation makes it vital for delivering oxygen to muscles during exercise and K1 Canoer medallist, Lisa Carrington knows firsthand how important iron is in her diet every day.

 

“Nourishing whole food is key to my performance both in training and competition, and iron-rich foods have an important role to play in my energy levels,” says Lisa.

 

This is also an area of interest for Senior Performance Nutritionist, Alex Popple from High Performance Sport New Zealand.

 

“Enhancing oxygen uptake and delivery are some of the desirable adaptations from endurance training. Paradoxically, endurance athletes are often found to have iron deficiency, which could limit or impair their performance”, says Alex.

 

Alex will be one of five speakers involved with a symposium for health professionals titled Iron: The Issue of deficiency in a land of plenty held in association with the University of Auckland Food and Health Programme on Tuesday 8 April. He will present his findings on the role hepcidin, a hormone which elevates after intense exercise, has on iron levels in athletes.

 

Iron is found in a number of foods, with lean red meat providing one of the richest sources of easily absorbed haem iron; in general the redder the meat, the higher the iron content. For more information visit www.ironweek.co.nz or visit your GP.

 

--Ends--

 

For more information:

www.ironweek.co.nz Fiona Greig Nutrition Manager Beef + Lamb New Zealand

fionag@beeflambnz.co.nz

DDI 09 489 0877

021 133 1702

#IronWeekNZ

 

References

University of Otago and Ministry of Health. (2011). A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Wall, CR et al. (2008). Ethnic variance in iron status: is it related to dietary intake? Public Health Nutr 12 (9):1413-1421.

Grant, CC et al. (2007). Population prevalence and risk factors for iron deficiency in Auckland, New Zealand. J Paediatr Child Health 43: 532-538.

March 16, 2014

CAMPAIGN RAISING ISSUE OF DEFICIENCY IN LAND OF PLENTY

April 7 will see the launch of an inaugural campaign raising the awareness of iron deficiency, the first of its kind in New Zealand.

 

Not only a global issue, iron deficiency remains an ongoing issue for many New Zealanders, with many unaware they have deficient levels. 

 

The last New Zealand adult nutrition survey revealed iron deficiency has more than doubled in the 12 years since the survey beforehand, with low iron levels evident in one in 14 adult women over 15 years old.  Further, 8 out of 10 toddlers are not meeting the recommended daily intake of dietary iron and 14% of children under 2 are deficient according to New Zealand research.*

 

The campaign named ‘Are you getting enough?’ will get the general public posing the question are they and their families eating enough iron-rich foods for good health.

 

The symptoms of iron deficiency often go unnoticed, being put down to having a busy lifestyle.  These include feeling tired, irritable or grumpy, suffering frequent infections, feeling the cold and difficulty concentrating. 

 

Iron Awareness Week, which will run 7-13 April, will include a scientific symposium for health professionals on Tuesday 8 April hosted by the University of Auckland’s Food and Health Programme including University of Auckland’s Dr Clare Wall who will focus on the iron status of infants and toddlers, and Professor David Cameron-Smith who specialises in the link between nutrition and genetics and the maintenance of health for an aging population. 

 

Alex Popple of High Performance New Zealand will also highlight the issue amongst athletes; Kathryn Beck of Massey University will address the prevalence of iron deficiency amongst women and teenagers and Bob Stewart of Massey University will focus on how iron is absorbed in the body.

 

--Ends--

For more information:

www.ironweek.co.nz

Fiona Greig

Nutrition Manager

Beef + Lamb New Zealand

fionag@beeflambnz.co.nz

DDI 09 489 0877

021 133 1702

#IronWeekNZ

*References

University of Otago and Ministry of Health. (2011). A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Wall, CR et al. (2008). Ethnic variance in iron status: is it related to dietary intake? Public Health Nutr 12 (9):1413-1421.

Grant, CC et al. (2007). Population prevalence and risk factors for iron deficiency in Auckland, New Zealand. J Paediatr Child Health 43: 532-538.

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