Iron Deficiency Risks

Iron is a necessary mineral for bodily function and good health. It is required for various systems to function properly (for example, enzyme systems, promotes stronger immune system, is required for brain development, etc). It is an essential component of the hemoglobin in red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body. If there is not enough iron in the body, then iron deficiency anemia develops.

Research has proven that there is a close association between iron deficiency anemia and reduced mental, motor, and behavioral functioning. These effects may be long-lasting. Studies provide evidence that increasing iron levels in anemic children improves school performance, concentration, short-term memory, and IQ.

A recent study has shown that iron deficiency anemia could be linked with strokes in small children. Therefore, preventative strategies and early detection in young children are important.

This study in Pediatrics shows the association found between obesity and iron deficiency. Toddlers who are overweight are at a high risk for iron deficiency and "junk" food or a non-balanced diet may be the culprit.

The prevalence of overweight was 20% among the overweight children, 8% for those at risk for being overweight, and 7% for normal weight toddlers. Excessive milk or juice intake, prolonged bottle feeding, snacking, and "junk" food intake could be contributing factors.

About the Author: Dr. Maurice Levy, an eminent pediatrician, has 30 years of day-to-day medical experience in hospitals and in his active pediatric primary care and consultation clinic. Former Chief of Pediatrics and currently Head of Pediatric Research at North York General Hospital, Dr. Levy has trained and worked in various hospitals across the globe. Along with his medical degree and specialty in General Pediatrics, Dr. Levy has received various specialized diplomas and received numerous awards and publications. For more information, visit:

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