The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of simulated consumption of biofortified cassava on dietary vitamin A inadequacy among rural primary school children aged 6-12 years in Kibwezi district- Eastern Kenya.The study had three specific objectives;â¢ 1. To estimate the current dietary intake and vitamin A adequacy among primary school children.â¢ 2. To determine the nutritional status of primary school children.â¢ 3. To simulate the potential effects of biofortified cassava consumption on improving dietary vitamin A intake of primary school children.
A total of 116 children were randomly selected from Thange and Muusini primary schools in Kibwezi District. A quantitative multipass 24 hour recall was used to gather dietary intake data of subjects. Two strategies were used to estimate the expected effects of simulated consumption of bio fortified cassava. These were; adding a snack of bio fortified cassava with the average portion size of white cassava normally consumed and adding a snack of bio fortified cassava with an increased portion size. Low (662ug/100g), middle (782ug/100g) and high (1026ug/100g) Ã-carotene levels were used to estimate the effects of simulated consumption of bio-fortified cassava using frying and boiling cooking methods.
Mean age in years was 9.0 (SD 1.8). Mean vitamin A probability of adequacy (PA) and intake were 0.22(SD 0.36) and 189.4RE (SD128.5) respectively. Simulation strategies increased vitamin A probability of adequate intake by 0.75 or higher with increasing levels of Ã-carotene from 662ug/100g (low) to 782ug/100g (middle) and 1026ug/100g (high) using frying and boiling cooking methods. An average portion size of 137g/day increased PA of vitamin A intake of only 6 years old children using fried cassava. An increased portion size of 375g/day increased adequate intake of all 6-12 years old using fried or boiled cassava.
The prevalence for dietary vitamin A inadequacy is very high among study population. The two simulation strategies might be able to improve dietary vitamin A adequacy of school children on assumption that they eat cassava on a daily basis. While the average portion size of 137g/day might be able to increase vitamin A probability of adequate intake to acceptable levels of only 6 years old children, the increased portion size of 375g/day might be able to increase adequate intake of all 6-12 years old and improve their dietary vitamin A adequacy.