Micronutrient deficiencies continue to be the major public health problem in Pakistan where the cereal based staple diet containing inhibitory phytates and poor dietary diversity are contributing factors.Specific ObjectivesTo compare dietary diversity among South Asian women in northwest UK (NWUK) with those living in northwest Pakistan (NWPK), and to determine the iron, zinc and phytate content of the flour used to make dietary staples from both the locations.
Dietary data from 40 and 15 female participants (18-30 years) from NWPK and NWUK respectively was obtained using three 24 hour dietary recalls. The dietary diversity score for the women (WDDS) was calculated. Wheat flour samples from both the geographical regions were analysed for their phytate, iron and zinc content
The mean WDDS for participants in the UK were significantly higher (P<0.05)than PK (range:4.33-5.06vs2.55-3.02). Flour analysis revealed that the phytate content of the PK flour ranged from 230 â565 mg/100g.This is comparable to phytate content of flour consumed in NW UK, ranging from 273 mg/100g for white flour to 584 mg/100g for wholemeal. The average iron and zinc content of the PK flour was similar to UK wholemeal flour, however meat consumption was more frequent in the UK.
This study highlighted the difference in dietary diversity between the two communities, and the need to improve WDDS in Pakistan to address micronutrient deficiencies.