Intake and dietary sources of haem and non-haem iron in Flemish preschoolers

I. Huybrechts, Y. Lin, W. De Keyzer, C. Matthys, L. Harvey, A. Meirhaeghe, J. Dallongeville, B. Sarria, G. De Backer, S. De Henauw

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:In the absence of biochemical data on iron status in preschoolers, data on the adequacy of iron intake may be used to assess the possible risk of iron deficiency in this population group. Therefore, this study aims to investigate iron intake and its food sources in Flemish preschoolers.SUBJECTS/METHODS:A total of 661 Flemish preschoolers 2.5-6.5 years old were recruited via a random cluster sampling design, using schools as primary sampling units. Three-day estimated diet records were used to assess dietary intakes. The contribution to iron intake (haem and non-haem) of 57 food groups was computed by summing the amount provided by the food group for all individuals divided by the total intake for all individuals.RESULTS:Mean total iron intake (s.d.) was 7.4 (2.3) and 6.7 (2.8) mg/day for boys and girls, respectively. In all 65% of the children 4 years old and 45% of those 4-6.5 years old presented adequate iron intakes. The food groups with the highest mean proportional contribution to total iron intake were bread, meat and meat products, breakfast cereals and sweet snacks (in that order). Children from small families whose mother had a low educational level had higher iron intakes.CONCLUSION:Iron intakes were similar for boys and girls and almost half of the Flemish preschoolers do not comply with the dietary iron recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-812
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • child
  • dietary sources
  • iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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