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Double-fortified salt reduces anemia, benefit:cost ratio is modestly favorable

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  • Horton, Sue
  • Wesley, Annie
  • Venkatesh Mannar, M.G.

Abstract

Iron deficiency is very widespread, with adverse consequences for health and cognition. Iron supplementation is not popular for long-term use, and cereal fortification is not feasible where milling occurs locally. Double-fortified salt (DFS: using both iron and iodine) is an alternative. The study undertakes a literature survey to find the effect of DFS on hemoglobin, and then uses a previous algorithm to make calculations for India. The benefit:cost ratio was estimated as 2.4:1 if only the benefits to children and women were included, and between 4:1 and 5:1 if anemia levels for men also decreased. This is just a little lower than the median ratio estimated for iron fortification of cereal staples (6.7:1), for home fortification for children less than two (37:1), and for biofortification - breeding for high iron - of cereals (high, but no exact figure available). Double-fortified salt is therefore a good alternative for improving iron status in populations where fortification of other staple foods does not achieve desired coverage.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 581-587

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:5:p:581-587

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

Related research

Keywords: Fortification Iron Salt iodization Hemoglobin Cost-benefit Economics;

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  1. Meenakshi, J.V. & Johnson, Nancy & Manyong, Victor M. & de Groote, Hugo & Javelosa, Josyline & Yanggen, David & Naher, Firdousi & González�Carolina & Garcia, James & Meng, Erika, 2007. "How cost-effective is biofortification in combating micronutrient malnutrition?: An ex-ante assessment," HarvestPlus Working Papers 2, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Qaim, Matin & Stein, Alexander J. & Meenakshi, J.V., 2006. "Economics of Biofortification," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25584, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Horton, S. & Ross, J., 2003. "The economics of iron deficiency," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-75, February.
  4. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  5. Stein, Alexander J. & Meenakshi, J.V. & Qaim, Matin & Nestel, Penelope & Sachdev, H.P.S. & Bhutta, Zulfiqar A., 2008. "Potential impacts of iron biofortification in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1797-1808, April.
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