Double-fortified salt reduces anemia, benefit:cost ratio is modestly favorable
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 biofortificationÂ -Â 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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- Meenakshi, J.V. & Johnson, Nancy & Manyong, Victor M. & de Groote, Hugo & Javelosa, Josyline & Yanggen, David & Naher, Firdousi & González Carolina & Garcia, James & Meng, Erika, 2007.
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- Meenakshi, J.V. & Johnson, Nancy L. & Manyong, Victor M. & DeGroote, Hugo & Javelosa, Josyline & Yanggen, David R. & Naher, Firdousi & Gonzalez, Carolina & García, James & Meng, Erika, 2010. "How Cost-Effective is Biofortification in Combating Micronutrient Malnutrition? An Ex ante Assessment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 64-75, January.
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