Reappraisal of the role of vegetables in the vitamin A status of mothers in Central Java, Indonesia

Saskia De Pee, Martin W. Bloem, Jonathan Gorstein, Mayang Sari, Satoto, Ray Yip, Roger Shrimpton, Muhilal

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48 Scopus citations


Food-based approaches for controlling vitamin A deficiency and its consequences, such as increased mortality, more severe morbidity, and anemia, have become increasingly important, thus prompting a reassessment of the relation between vitamin A intake and status. A nutrition surveillance system in Central Java, Indonesia, assessed the vitamin A intake and serum retinol concentration of women with a child ≤24 mo old with a semiquantitative 24-h recall method that categorized vitamin A-containing foods into 3 categories of plant foods and into 2 categories of animal foods and identified portions as small, medium, or large. Median vitamin A intake was 335 retinol equivalents (RE)/d (n = 600) and vitamin A intake from plant foods was 8 times higher than from animal foods. Serum retinol concentration was related to vitamin A intake in a dose-response manner. The multiple logistic regression model for predicting the chance for a serum retinol concentration greater than the observed median (≥ 1.37 μmol/L) included physiologic factors, vitamin A intake from plant [odds ratio (95% CI) per quartile: 1st, 1.00; 2nd, 1.23 (0.75, 2.02); 3rd, 1.60 (0.97, 2.63); and 4th, 2.06 (1.25, 3.40)] and animal [1st and 2nd, 1.00; 3rd, 1.31 (0.86, 2.02); and 4th, 2.18 (1.40, 3.42)] foods, home gardening [(no, 1.00; yes, 1.71 (1.12, 2.60)], and woman's education level [≤primary school, 1.00; ≥secondary school, 1.51 (1.02, 2.22)]. Despite the fact that plant foods contributed 8 times as much vitamin A as did animal foods, serum retinol concentrations did not reflect this large difference. Home gardening and woman's education level seemed to reflect longer-term consumption of vitamin A-rich plant and animal foods, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1074
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • 24-h recall
  • Animal foods
  • Home gardening
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Maternal health
  • Plant foods
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Vitamin A intake
  • Vitamin A status
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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