Nutritionist says 2 in 5 pregnant women globally suffer from anaemia


A Consultant Nutritionist, Prof. Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, says two out of every five pregnant women globally suffer from anaemia due to lack of Iron in the body.

Steiner-Asiedu, who works at the Department of Nutrition and Good Science, University of Ghana, also said on Monday that 1.2 billion people suffer globally from anaemia.

She, therefore, warned pregnant women to stop consuming coffee or tea to prevent anaemia, saying it can put the life of mother and baby at risk.

Steiner-Asiedu made the assertion at an online programme tagged: “Advancing Nutrition, Health and Wellness through the Media”.

The consultant nutritionist spoke on: “Iron Deficiency, a Public Health Challenge” at the programme organised by Nestlé Nigeria Plc, in collaboration with the Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre.

According to her, coffee, tea and other cocoa-based beverage can inhibited Iron absorption in the body, thereby causing Iron deficiency, a major cause of Anaemia in pregnancy.

“Coffee or Tea is not good for pregnant women. They inhibit Iron absorption in the body.

“During pregnancy, your body produces more blood to support the growth of your baby.

“If you are not getting enough iron or certain other nutrients, your body might not be able to produce the amount of red blood cells it needs to make this additional blood.

“This condition is called Anaemia, and it occurs when you do not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues in your body and it can become serious, if it is too severe or is left untreated.

‘In fact, anaemia during pregnancy can lead to premature birth and low birth weight for your baby, and even maternal mortality.

“So, coffee and tea should be avoided when you are pregnant, because they make iron unavailable in your body,” she said.

Steiner-Asiedu said that consumption of coffee and tea could also make an individual to lose water, which could cause dehydration and affect blood volume, thereby causing dizziness, fatigue or tiredness.

The expert said that the burden of anaemia was high in Nigeria, especially among children and pregnant women.

“No state is spared in Nigeria in this case, especially in the rural areas, meaning that Nigeria is in critical stage that needs urgent attention.

“So, the media professionals need to embark on intensified nutrition education to help people change their attitudes toward their nutritional status,” she said.

The consultant nutritionist urged women, especially pregnant women to get sufficient amounts of Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A and folic acid during pregnancy.

She also advised them to eat the right foods such as legumes, grains, nuts, green vegetables and other animals sources to boost their blood level. (NAN)

– Jun. 8, 2020 @ 16:15 GMT |

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