Anemia in Low-Income Countries Is Unlikely to Be Addressed by Economic Development Without Additional Programs

Published In: Food and Nutrition Bulletin, v. 30, no. 3, Sep. 2009, p. 265-269

Posted on RAND.org on September 01, 2009

by Harold Alderman, Sebastian Linnemayr

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Although governments may decline to invest in iron fortification or supplementation influenced by the view that income growth will address the problem, the data do not support this view. Looking at the rates of anemia among children and adult women across 40 Demographic and Health Surveys from 32 countries, this study found that although anemia rates do decrease as income increases, the decrease is modest. Indeed, overall anemia rates decline roughly a quarter as fast as income increases and at only half the speed at which rates of underweight decline.

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