Poor micronutrient intake and status is a public health problem among adolescent Mozambican girls

Liisa Korkalo, Riitta Freese, Georg Alfthan, Lourdes Fidalgo, Marja Mutanen

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Micronutrient deficiencies can damage the health of adolescent girls and their offspring. There is a lack of population-based data on the micronutrient status of adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a cross-sectional, population-based study to examine the biochemical status, prevalence of deficiency, dietary intake, and food sources of selected micronutrients among adolescent girls in Central Mozambique. Separate groups of study participants were recruited in 2 seasons in 2010. The participants were girls between 14 and 19 years of age (n = 551) from 1 urban area and 2 rural districts. Micronutrient status indicators were analyzed from blood and urine samples. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were also carried out. The overall prevalence with 95% confidence interval (calculated using sampling weights) among nonpregnant girls was 42.4% (37.2%-47.8%; n = 466) for anemia, 27.4% (23.1%-32.2%; n = 427) for low serum ferritin, 32.7% (27.7%-38.1%; n = 423) for low serum zinc, 14.7% (11.2%-19.0%; n = 426) for low plasma retinol, and 4.1% (2.9%-5.8%; n = 448) for low serum folate. The selenium status was considered sufficient. Mild to moderate iodine deficiency was found in the rural districts, whereas the iodine status of urban girls was adequate. Significantly lower serum folate concentrations were found in the urban area compared to the rural districts. The seasonal differences in vitamin A intake were significant. The intakes of micronutrients from animal source foods were small. In summary, adolescent Mozambican girls are at risk of several micronutrient deficiencies. This raises concern especially because adolescent motherhood is common in the region. Actions need to be taken to prevent and control micronutrient deficiencies.
TidskriftNutrition Research
Sidor (från-till)664-673
Antal sidor10
StatusPublicerad - 2015
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 416 Livsmedelsvetenskap
  • 3142 Folkhälsovetenskap, miljö och arbetshälsa

Citera det här