IRON STATUS OF WOMEN OF REPRODUCTIVE AGE LIVING IN PEARL MILLET CONSUMING AREAS OF BANASKANTHA, GUJARAT
Anemia is a major health problem in India, especially among women and children (NFHS III, 2006). The Indian Council of medical Research study reported the prevalence of anemia among pregnant women was 84.9% and in adolescent girls was 90.1% based on their study from 16 districts of India (Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 2006).
Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) (Bajra), grown extensively in the arid and semi-arid tropical regions of the world, is one of the most important cereals for food security and consumed as a staple food for rural and tribal population dwelling in this area. Pearl millet has high amounts of iron (8mg/100g, NIN 2010) along with several other factors such as phytates, oxalates and polyphones, which may decrease the bio available iron. IFPRI (Pray and Nagarjan, 2009) has identified Banaskantha, district in Gujarat as one of the important pearl millet producing belts of India. The present study aimed to assess the background information, morbidity profile and dietary intake focusing on the pearl millet consumption of women residing in the pearl millet producing belts of Banaskantha and to assess the status and immunity profile from a subsample of this population.