Contribution of Animal Source Foods in Improving Diet Quality for Children in the Developing World

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【标题】Contribution of Animal Source Foods in Improving Diet Quality for Children in the Developing World

【作者】 Charlotte G. Neumann  Diane M. Harris 

【摘要】Acknowledgment: the authors give special thanks to the very capable editorial assistance of Ms. Mild to moderate protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is prevalent throughout the developing world. Children are particularly susceptible with malnutrition contributing significantly to adverse outcomes such as poor growth, diminished mental development and illness. The recognition that micronutrient deficiencies frequently co-exist with PEM is receiving increasing attention. In this regard, diet quality, or the ability of a given diet to provide the entire complement of high-quality protein-energy and minerals, trace metals, and vitamins necessary to meet requirements, is as significant as diet quantity alone. The effects of inadequate intake are most pronounced during early childhood, adolescence, and during pregnancy and lactation in women; thus children and women of reproductive age are the most vulnerable groups. Animal-source foods supply not only high-quality and readily digested protein and energy, but are also a compact and efficient source of readily available micronutrients. The main micronutrients offered in abundant and readily available and absorbable form from animal products are iron, zinc, vitamin B 12 and retinol. Other nutrients such as thiamin, calcium, vitamin B 6 , vitamin A and milk, riboflavin are available from certain types of meat and/or dairy products. A number of studies have investigated the association of intake of animal source foods with growth and development, (physical and mental), morbidity, including nutritional anemia and immune function, and pregnancy outcome and lactating in women. The most comprehensive of these studies to date has been the three-country Human Nutritional Collaborative Research Support Program, which investigated diet and growth and development outcomes in children and pregnancy outcomes in women. These studies show that intake of animal source products positively predicted both physical and developmental outcomes in children, illustrating the potential utility of these foods in the diet. This review covers information derived from field studies, both observational and interventions, not only of animal foods per se such as meat and milk, but also the major constituent micronutrients, iron, zinc, vitamins B 12 and A and their role on child growth, cognitive development and health. How to increase the availability, accessibility, and utilization of these foods to resource poor people in developing countries is a major challenge. Policy suggestions include enhancing the programs of non-governmental organizations and agricultural extension agencies, promoting the use of alternative animal crops, investigating new technologies to enhance production and processing, and developing the infrastructure for increasing credit and …

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