Iron - are you getting enough?

The facts on the most common nutritional deficiency in the world and what to do about it.
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  • Updated:1 Nov 2005

02.Who's at risk?

Women of child-bearing age

  • These women lose more iron because they menstruate.
  • They need more iron during pregnancy.
  • Women are more likely to go on low-calorie diets which can be low in iron.
  • Research suggests that about 20 to 40% of women of child-bearing age fall significantly short of getting the recommended amount of iron from their diet. These women aren’t automatically iron-deficient, but they’re at an increased risk of it.
  • Based on blood tests, only around 8% of women seem to be genuinely iron-deficient, and even fewer — around 2 to 5% — get iron-deficiency anaemia.

Others at risk

  • Babies
  • Vegetarians
  • Athletes
  • Regular blood donors

They can end up eating too little iron for their body’s needs for growth and physical activity.

If your iron intake from food is insufficient and you fit into one of the groups above, you could be at risk of iron deficiency.

Low risk

Most men and post-menopausal women can easily meet their iron needs through a normal diet.


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