24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Statin Cholesterol Drugs May Help Fight Ulcerative ColitisAHA News: Physical Activity Is Helpful After a Stroke, But How Much Is Healthy?Special 'Strategies' Can Help People With Parkinson's Walk, But Many Patients UnawareEven When Undergoing Treatment, People With MS Gain From COVID VaccinesNIH Spending Nearly $470 Million on Long-Haul COVID StudyHospitalizing the Unvaccinated Has Cost U.S. Nearly $6 BillionIn 16 States, 35% or More Residents Now Obese: CDCPet Store Puppies Passing Drug-Resistant Bacteria to PeopleIs a Combo COVID/Flu Shot on the Way?1 in 500 Americans Has Died From COVID-19Having Even a Cousin or Grandparent With Colon Cancer Raises Your Risk: StudyBlood Cancer Patients Could Benefit From COVID Booster Shot: StudyWHO Says Africa Will Get 30% of COVID Vaccines It Needs by FebruaryCOVID Vaccines for Kids Under 12 Could Come This Fall: FauciEbola Vaccine Effective in African Clinical TrialBritain OK's COVID Vaccine for Kids 12 and Older; Hopes to Avoid LockdownsIsraeli Data on COVID Boosters to Be Published This Week in Major JournalData Doesn't Support Need for COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters: ExpertsCOVAX Cuts Global COVID Vaccine Supply Estimates By a QuarterMonth-Long Recovery From Concussion Is Normal: StudyDeath From COVID 11 Times More Likely If You're Unvaccinated: StudyL.A. Is First Major School District to Mandate Vaccines for Students 12 and UpNew Tally Adds Extra 16,000 U.S. Nursing Home Residents Lost to COVIDBlack Americans, Mexican Americans Develop Diabetes Earlier in LifeAverage COVID Hospitalization Is 150 Times More Expensive Than VaccinationGetting Your First COVID Shot Can Boost Mental Health: StudyVaccinated Have 1 in 13,000 Chance of Breakthrough Case Needing HospitalizationBiden Issues Tough New Vaccine Mandates Affecting Millions of U.S. WorkersTime Is Brain: Mobile Stroke Units Reduce Disability, Study FindsWildfires Cause More Than 33,000 Deaths Globally Each YearIs Your Workplace an Asthma Trigger?Biden to Strengthen Push for Vaccine Mandates in New COVID PlanAHA News: How a Simple Tape Measure May Help Predict Diabetes in Black AdultsEczema Can Take Toll on Child's Mental HealthNo Lasting Damage to Lungs After COVID in Young Patients: StudyAdults With Autism, Mental Illness May Be at Higher Risk for Severe COVIDIn Cancer Patients, COVID Vaccine Immunity at 6 Months Is Similar to General PopulationNew Insights Into Why Asthma Worsens at NightHere's How COVID-19 Can Affect Your MouthPet Dogs Can Alert Owners to Epileptic SeizuresU.S. COVID-19 Cases Now Top 40 MillionWhy Aren't COVID Vaccines Getting to People Globally?Which Cancer Patients Need a COVID Booster Shot Most?Few U.S. Workers Know About COVID Sick Leave ProtectionsTherapeutic Brain Implant Won't Alter Personality in Epilepsy Patients: StudyRising Ragweed Levels Mean Fall Allergy Season Is NearVaping Raises Blood Clotting Risks, Harms Small Arteries: StudyMore Than 230 Medical Journals Issue Joint Statement on Health Dangers of Global WarmingAHA News: Clues to Brain Health May Lie in the GutNew COVID Cases Were 300% Higher This Labor Day Weekend Than Last Year
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


Changing Diets Mean More Americans Are Anemic Now

HealthDay News
by By Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Aug 4th 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Growing numbers of Americans aren't getting enough iron in their diets most likely due to changes in farming practices and a shift away from red meat, researchers report.

The upshot: Rates of iron-deficiency anemia are on the rise.

"Iron deficiency remains a major public health issue even in a developed country such as the United States," Dr. Ian Griffin and Dr. Marta Rogido wrote in an editorial published along with the new research. They practice at Biomedical Research of New Jersey in Cedar Knolls.

Iron helps make hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Anemia results from a drop in red blood cells. It can cause fatigue, pale skin, dizziness and/or weakness, and can lead to other health problems, including heart failure, if left untreated, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

For this study, researchers used three large government databases to track trends in anemia rates; the amount of iron found in U.S. food products; and deaths from iron-deficiency anemia between 1999 and 2018.

During that time, iron intake dropped 6.6% in men and 9.5% in women as levels of the nutrient fell in more than 500 food products assessed, including pork, turkey, fruit, vegetables, corn and beans, the researchers reported.

This was most likely due to changes in farming practices, the study authors said. Previous studies have pointed to a push to increase crop yield per acre and irrigation runoff as among those changes.

Another big change? More folks are eating chicken instead of red meat for health purposes, and red meat contains much more iron, said study author Connie Weaver, professor emerita of nutrition science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

"Fortified grains and cereals increase iron intake, but low-carb diets and switching away from fortified cereal has also decreased iron intake," she added.

During the study period, deaths from iron deficiency anemia rose, and more people required treatment for severe anemia, the study found. This risk was highest among women and African Americans.

"[Going forward], agriculture practices could be improved to increase iron in foods, especially through the selection of seeds/lines of higher mineral content," Weaver said.

The findings were published in the July issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

Jessica Shapiro, associate wellness and nutrition manager at Montefiore Health System in New York City, reviewed the study findings.

"Iron deficiency anemia has definitely increased in recent years," Shapiro said. Blood tests can diagnose it, she added, and diet changes and supplements are typically ordered to get iron levels up to where they should be.

"I always go food first when treating iron deficiency," Shapiro noted.

There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme, she pointed out.

"Heme iron is found in animal products such as red meat and is better absorbed than non-heme iron in plant-based foods like lentils, spinach, kidney beans, nuts, and some dried fruit like raisins," Shapiro explained.

Foods like citrus fruit that are rich in vitamin C can help the body better absorb plant-based iron, she said.

But, Shapiro added, iron can be a double-edged sword: While too little causes anemia, too much can tip the scale toward iron overload, which can be toxic.

More information

To learn more about iron deficiency anemia and its treatment, visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

SOURCES: Jessica Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, certified diabetes educator and associate wellness and nutrition manager, Montefiore Health System, New York City; Connie Weaver, PhD, distinguished professor emerita of nutrition science, Purdue University, and CEO, Weaver and Associates Consulting, LLC, West Lafayette, Ind.; The Journal of Nutrition, July 2021