Dietary Intake and Vitamin a Status of Children 3-5 Years in Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato Growing Area of Southern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Vitamin A deficiency is a worldwide public health nutrition problem among preschool-aged children in developing countries, with the maximum number of cases in the Sub-Saharan African Region. The aim of the present study was Investigate whether orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) consumption is associated with higher vitamin A intake and serum retinol concentration among preschool children in Wolayita zone, Ethiopia A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2016 to February 2017 to assess the Dietary adequacy and Vitamin A status of preschool children in two districts, Wolayita Sodo zone, Southern Ethiopia. Two-stage cluster sampling technique was used to select adequately representative samples of 142 preschool children from four kebeles of each district. Dietary intakes have been measured using quantitative 24-hour recall method that was repeated on a non-consecutive day. The usual intake and the percentage of inadequate intake was estimated. Blood sample was drawn and analyzed for serum retinol, C-reactive protein, alpha-1-glycoprotein, hemoglobin, serum ferritin. Substitution of white-fleshed sweet potato by orange-fleshed ones (15- 75%) was simulated using intake monitoring assessment and planning program. The dietary diversity score of the study participants showed that 51% of children had dietary diversity scores less than three food groups. The children in all age had energy intakes lower than the estimated need; whereas, protein and iron intakes were adequate for all age. Median vitamin A, calcium, zinc and vitamin C intakes were below estimated needs. The prevalence of inadequate vitamin A intake was 96.5%, but only 22% had confirmed deficiency based on serum retinol values. Substitution of white-fleshed sweet potato by the biofortified orange-fleshed sweet potato reduced the prevalence of inadequate vitamin A intake to 7%. Our study highlights that promotion of orange-fleshed sweet potato in areas where consumption of sweet-potato is common can lead to improved vitamin A intake and thus may constitute a feasible nutrition-sensitive intervention.



Vitamin A, Serum Retinol, Biofortification, Dietary Intake, Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato, Ethiopia