Micronutrient status of populations and preventive nutrition interventions in South East Asia

N. Roos*, M. Campos Ponce, C.M. Doak, M. Dijkhuizen, K. Polman, C. Chamnan, K. Khov, M. Chea, S. Prak, S. Kounnavong, K. Akkhavong, L.B. Mai, T.T. Lua, S. Muslimatun, U. Famida, E. Wasantwisut, P. Winichagoon, E. Doets, V. Greffeuille, F.T. WieringaJ. Berger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Since the 1990s, programs for the control of micronutrient deficiencies became a public health priority for many governments, including the countries partnering the project “Sustainable Micronutrient Interventions to Control Deficiencies and Improve Nutritional Status and General Health in Asia” (SMILING): Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos-PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. The aim of this study was to map which micronutrient deficiencies have been addressed and which interventions were in place in the SMILING countries. Methods The mapping covered the period up to 2012. Updated information from relevant surveys after 2012 is included in this paper after the completion of the SMILING project. The mapping of micronutrient status was limited to either national or at least large-scale surveys. Information on nutrition interventions obtained through a systematic mapping of national programs combined with a snowball collection from various sources. Results Among the five SMILING countries, Thailand differed historically by an early implementation of a nationwide community-based nutrition program, contributing to reductions in undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. For Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR, and Vietnam, some national programs addressing micronutrients have been implemented following adjusted international recommendations. National surveys on micronutrient status were scattered and inconsistent across the countries in design and frequency. Conclusion for practice In conclusion, some micronutrient deficiencies were addressed in national interventions but the evidence of effects was generally lacking because of limited nationally representative data collected. Improvement of intervention programs to efficiently reduce or eliminate micronutrient deficiencies requires more systematic monitoring and evaluation of effects of interventions in order to identify best practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29–45
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number1
Early online date30 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Children
  • Deficiency
  • Iron
  • Micronutrient
  • Mineral
  • Southeast Asia
  • Vitamin
  • Vitamin A
  • Women of reproductive age
  • Zinc

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