Micronutrients are essential for proper development and intellectual capacity as well as vital for good health. Adequate consumption of these nutrients has been shown to reduce absenteeism, school drop-out and infant mortality.
The sugar fortification program with vitamin A has been implemented in Guatemala since 1975, with the support of the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) and the Government of Guatemala, through the Ministry of Health in response to a vitamin A deficiency in the population.
These efforts contributed to waning vitamin A deficiency as a public health concern.
- Helps the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth and soft tissues.
- Essential nutrient for the growth and development of bones in humans.
- Plays an important role in the development of vision, especially in dim light.
- Helps build nerve tissue.
- Reduces respiratory problems.
- Promotes growth during childhood.
- Prevents premature aging.
We currently voluntarily fortify sugar with iron in some rural areas of Guatemala. We continue with the effort to make this practice a national public health program for all table sugar.
It is important to remark the importance of public-private partnerships, international aid agencies and civil society, in promoting and maintaining food fortification programs.