Estimating the impact of mandatory folic acid fortification on the folic acid intake of Australian women of childbearing age

Emmett, Jessica, Lawrence, Mark and Riley, Malcolm 2011, Estimating the impact of mandatory folic acid fortification on the folic acid intake of Australian women of childbearing age, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 442-450.

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Title Estimating the impact of mandatory folic acid fortification on the folic acid intake of Australian women of childbearing age
Author(s) Emmett, Jessica
Lawrence, Mark
Riley, Malcolm
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of public health
Volume number 35
Issue number 5
Start page 442
End page 450
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Richmond, Vic.
Publication date 2011-10
ISSN 1326-0200
1753-6405
Keyword(s) folic acid
mandatory fortification
nutrient reference values
upper level of intake
Summary Objective: The primary aim of this study was to estimate the impact of mandatory folic acid (FA) fortification of bread-making flour on the FA intake of Australian women of childbearing age (16-44 years). The secondary objective was to investigate the relationship between estimated FA intake and socio-economic status (SES) and age.

Method: Dietary modelling was used to estimate FA intake under four mandatory fortification scenarios – no supplement use, supplement use unrelated to FA intake, supplement use only among the highest consumers of bread, and increased supplement use. Data were obtained from the 1995 National Nutrition Survey for food intake patterns, the 2007 Victorian Population Health Survey for FA supplement use, and a marketplace survey.

Results: It is estimated that the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommendation for an additional 400 mg/day FA will be achieved by a minimum of 3.9, 25.4, 21.7 and 30% of the target population under scenarios 1-4, respectively. The FA upper level of intake is exceeded by a maximum of 0.1, 1.7, 6.1 and 4.1% of the target population for scenarios 1-4, respectively.

Conclusions: Mandatory FA fortification is not sufficient for the NHMRC recommendations for minimum and maximum intakes to be met by all of the target population under a number of plausible behaviour scenarios.

Implications: Targeted nutrition education campaigns are needed for SES and age sub-groups and research of this nature should be extended to other population groups. Monitoring and evaluation of this policy will be important to ensure appropriate FA intake.
Notes Article first published online 4th October 2011
Language eng
Field of Research 111104 Public Nutrition Intervention
Socio Economic Objective 920411 Nutrition
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2011
Copyright notice ©2011, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30041821

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Population Health
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