Adequate intakes of vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining human health. The contribution of micronutrients such as iron, vitamin A and iodine to the prevention of morbidity and mortality in large sectors of the global population, particularly low and middle-income countries, is well documented.1 The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 estimates that 340,000 child and maternal deaths were caused by deficiencies in vita- min A, zinc and iron that year. These accounted for almost 3% of the global disease burden, representing a large decrease since 1990 but still unacceptably high for preventable conditions.2 Food insecurity and nutrient deficiencies in high-income countries also exist. For example, in 2008 14.6% of households in the United States were considered food insecure and 5.7% had very low food security, with higher rates found in households with children.3 Nutrient inadequacies may be found in specific sub-populations; reports show that factors such as ethnicity, household income, education, age and gender affect intakes and biochemical markers of nutritional adequacy.
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