Animal source foods and nutrition of young children

An ex ante analysis of impact of HPAI on nutrition in Indonesia

One aspect of livelihood in developing countries that has been largely neglected is the effect of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) disease, prevention, and control strategies on nutrition. An HPAI outbreak could have income and price effects that could influence the consumption of all food commodities and hence, the nutrition of household members. Perhaps more importantly, an HPAI outbreak could lead to discrete changes in preferences away from poultry, leading to a consumption shock of poultry products.

Infants and young children are likely the most vulnerable to the nutritional consequences of an HPAI shock. The recent landmark Lancet series on Maternal and Child Nutrition reported that 32 percent of all children living in developing countries who are less than five years of age are stunted, 19.3 percent are underweight, and 3.5 percent are wasted. It is usually in the early stages of the complementary feeding period (between 6-24 months of age) when infants from resource-poor settings experience marked growth faltering as solid foods are introduced into the diet and infectious disease exposures increase (Shrimpton et al. 2001). This is also the period when micronutrient deficiencies may arise, in particular for those micronutrients that are inadequately provided by breast milk.

Animal source foods (ASFs), including poultry products, offer both higher concentrations and more bio-available matrices for critical micronutrients when compared to plant-based foods. Thus, the presence of ASF in the diet can be an efficient delivery mechanism during periods when micronutrient requirements are high (pregnancy, lactation, early infancy and childhood, and adolescence). Poultry meat, for example, is a good source of heme iron and zinc, while eggs provide preformed vitamin A (retinyl ester), vitamin B12, -0.86 (±1.33), and mean weight for height (WHZ) is -0.29 (±1.61). The mean hemoglobin concentration is 10.2 (±1.47). Among all children, 30 percent are classified as stunted, 17 percent as underweight, 11 percent as wasted, and 65 percent as anemic. Prevalence of undernutrition varied by age, with the exception of wasting. For children between the ages of 12 and 36 months, being in the upper PCE quartile reduces the odds of stunting, being underweight, and anemia. and riboflavin in forms available for absorption. In considering the possible impact of HPAI on child nutrition in Indonesia, it is thus imperative to understand the role played by poultry (meat and eggs) in conjunction with other ASFs in child nutrition. This brief presents the results of an analysis of the determinants of ASF consumption and nutrition outcomes in young children ages 6-36 months based on the 2000 Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS-3). The information is then used to model the effects of reducing poultry product consumption on child anthropometry and anemia status.

Iannotti, Lora
Barron, Manuel
Roy, Devesh
Published date: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Royal Veterinary College (RVC)
Series number: 
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