Diet puts women at risk of low iron intake

Almost one third of Australian women are at risk of inadequate iron intake and one in five of inadequate zinc intake, according to the findings of a new cross-sectional study of Australian women aged 18 to 50.

The study found 31% of women were at risk of inadequate iron intake and 19% of inadequate zinc intake1, and that a positive association existed between iron and zinc intake suggesting dietary strategies for increasing iron intake will also improve zinc intake.

In this sample of tertiary-educated women in Melbourne, 30% had depleted iron stores (<15µg/L serum ferritin, ≥120 g/L Hb and <5 mg/L CRP). Similar levels were reported in another study of university female students aged 18-35 in Sydney which found 33.9% with hypoferritinaemia (<15µg/L)2

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