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The determinants of demand for micronutrients

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  • Bouis, Howarth E.
  • Novenario-Reese, Mary Jane G.

Abstract

Micronutrient deficiencies are particularly severe in Bangladesh. Understanding howhousehold income, food prices, parental education and nutritional knowledge, and culturally-based customs and food preferences interact to determine food consumption patterns (particularly for nonstaple foods), and so micronutrient intake, can provide crucial information for designing policies and intervention programs to improve human nutrition. Within the typical dietary patterns of the Bangladeshi survey population, the key food group with respect to micronutrient consumption is vegetables, providing nearly 95 percent of vitamin A intake, 75 percent of vitamin C intake, and 25 percent of iron intake. Vegetables are the least expensive sources of all of these nutrients. Vegetables are sufficiently inexpensive sources of vitamin A and vitamin C that they could provide the RDA within normal dietary patterns and the budgets of low-income groups. There is no corresponding inexpensive source of iron. Programs to educate consumers about the importance of meeting recommended daily allowances of vitamin A and vitamin C and about commonly eaten sources of these nutrients has the potential for improving intake. Because a high proportion of vitamin A and vitamin C intake apparently comes from own-production, extension programs to promote growing specific vitamin A and vitamin C rich foods not only would provide households with a ready supply of these nutrients, but increased production could bring the local price down.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouis, Howarth E. & Novenario-Reese, Mary Jane G., 1997. "The determinants of demand for micronutrients," FCND discussion papers 32, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:32
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Pitt, Mark M, 1983. "Food Preferences and Nutrition in Rural Bangladesh," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(1), pages 105-114, February.
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    6. Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1984. "More evidence on nutrition demand : Income seems overrated and women's schooling underemphasized," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 105-128.
    7. Strauss, John, 1984. "Joint determination of food consumption and production in rural Sierra Leone : Estimates of a household-firm model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 77-103.
    8. Lipton, M., 1988. "The Poor And The Poorest," World Bank - Discussion Papers 25, World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Lisa C. & Byron, Elizabeth M., 2005. "Is greater decisionmaking power of women associated with reduced gender discrimination in South Asia?," FCND discussion papers 200, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Gutner, Tammi, 1999. "The political economy of Food subsidy reform in Egypt," FCND briefs 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Popkin, Barry M. & Horton, Susan & Kim, Soowon, 2001. "The nutritional transition and diet-related chronic diseases in Asia," FCND briefs 105, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Hoddinott, John & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002. "Dietary diversity as a food security indicator," FCND discussion papers 136, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Rashid, Dewan Arif & Smith, Lisa C. & Rahman, Tauhidur, 2011. "Determinants of Dietary Quality: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 2221-2231.
    6. Honicke, Mireille & Ecker, Olivier & Qaim, Matin & Weinberger, Katinka, 2006. "Vitamin A and iron consumption and the role of indigenous vegetables: A household level analysis in the Philippines," Research in Development Economics and Policy (Discussion Paper Series) 8533, Universitaet Hohenheim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics.
    7. Ecker, Olivier & Qaim, Matin, 2008. "Income and Price Elasticities of Food Demand and Nutrient Consumption in Malawi," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6349, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Patrick Webb & Jennifer Coates & Robert Houser, 2002. "Does Microcredit Meet the Needs of all Poor Women? Constraints to Participation Among Desitute Women in Bangladesh," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 03, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
    9. repec:pit:wpaper:269 is not listed on IDEAS

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