Abbey J. Canon

Document Type



Due to a variety of production, processing, or preservation limitations, or because of household economic, cultural or religious factors, many children, especially those in developing countries, do not consume an adequate amount of animal source foods (ASF). While little to no animal products are consumed in many developing countries, they are nonetheless essential to a healthy diet, especially for a growing child. The majority of low income households in developing countries base their diets on cereal grains or starchy tubers. These typical diets pose many threats to the nutritional health of children. Grains and starches lack many essential micronutrients, and the starchy foods often result in poor absorption of these essential micronutrients. Animal source foods, however, are particularly high in iron, zinc, vitamin Bl2, riboflavin, calcium, and vitamin A (Ruel, 2003). While meat and muscle products, specifically, offer high amounts of heme iron, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin Bl2, niacin, and vitamin B6, it has relatively low amounts of vitamin A and folate. Milk, on the other hand, is significantly high in vitamin A, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin Bl2, riboflavin, and folate, but is low in zinc and iron (Grillenberger et al., 2003). It is also recognized that ASF offers a complete set of the amino acids essential to the human diet, in addition to a high bioavailability of the aforementioned micronutrients (Harris and Neumann, 1999).

Publication Date


Journal Title

International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities





First Page


Last Page



©2009 International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities



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Public Health Commons



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