There is always big news about the effects of iron deficiency in adults and babies, yet up to one in three New Zealand toddlers may also be short of iron.
New research from the University of Otago shows beef and lamb can help prevent iron levels falling in these children when at their most vulnerable. Just two tablespoons of naturally nutrient-rich red meat a day can prevent toddlers going short of iron.
In the first study of its kind, some of the 225 South Island toddlers involved were provided with nutritious beef and lamb meals; a practical, convenient and tasty way of giving iron to a group needing most.
The results have been published in the highly-rated, international, peer-reviewed journal, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To help disseminate the results to health professionals, the first of a series of seminars has been held in Auckland. The seminar featured the study’s principal investigator, Dr Anne-Louise Heath, plus two other leading experts in this area, Associate Professor Cameron Grant, paediatrician at Starship Hospital and Dr Clare Wall from the University of Auckland.
The study was partially funded by Meat & Wool New Zealand together with Meat and Livestock Australia and the Health Research Council, ensuring the study would be of a scientifically-significant size.