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Anemia in Urban India

A recent report states that anemia affects the urban society as well with one in three teenage girls affected in cities. The main reason being they prefer diet fad or junk food. According to the doctors the dietary choices are increasing turning to refined food lacking vital nutrients. Many young people skip breakfast which should be the biggest meal of the day. It leads to wrong eating habits that cause weakness in the body system.

Family meals are also a big casualty to urban work schedule with teenagers and children eating junk food at schools and restaurants. The wrong choice of breads, oils, dressings leads to empty calories pilling up without essential vitamins and minerals.

In India 55.8% women and 24.7% men have anemia with highest prevalence in Assam and Jharkhand (69%) followed by Bihar (67.4%). Even the national capital New Delhi has a female anemic population of alarming 44.3%.According to the National Family Health Survey III anemia causes one in five pregnancy related deaths, triples the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight babies and increases risk of fetal death nine-fold. Anemia affects 24.7% adult men.

Anemia in mothers also leads to irreversible brain damage and poor development in babies. Most young girls lack basic awareness about health that makes them undernourished adults and later on unhealthy mothers.

Haemoglobin should be over 12 gm/dl for women and 13 gm/dl for men. According to the doctors eating iron-rich food is not enough it needs to be absorbed by the body as well.Vitamin C aides in absorption while caffeine in the tea and coffee prevent it.Green leafy vegetables are another good source of iron.

Source: Iron in The Bowl : Hindustan Times
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