Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Arthur W. Mahoney


Arthur W. Mahoney


Deloy Hendricks


Carol Windham


Gerald Adams


Factors which affect iron bioavailability have been repeatedly and extensively investigated. A model, derived from these studies, has been developed for estimating available iron from meal data. However, many dietary surveys report only average daily intakes of iron, and do not report the iron present in single meals. No model to estimate available iron from daily iron intake has been presented in the literature.

Dietary questionnaires were kept for two nonconsecutive weekdays by 355 male and 382 female Utah school children, mean age 7.5 years, assisted by their parents, and recorded by household measure. Data, first recorded as meals eaten, were used to develop three models for the estimation of available iron from total daily iron intake. It was concluded that available iron can be estimated from total iron intake by two of these models, as compared with the currently used model, which estimates available iron from data recorded by meal.

Additionally, meal patterns of those factors involved with the estimation of available iron were investigated. The intake of dietary ascorbic acid and total iron was found to be evenly distributed among meals; approximately 10% of these nutrients was consumed as snacks. Of the meat, fish, poultry and the iron in those products consumed; 36% was taken at lunch, and 54% at dinner. Only 5% of the meat, fish, and poultry iron was consumed as snacks. The available iron distribution for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks was 21.0%, 30.8%, 42.5% and 5.7%, respectively.

Previous studies have investigated the characteristics of diets which provide 9 mg of iron per 1000 kcal of energy consumed. These diets have been shown to include larger portions of vegetables, fruits, and cereal products. In this study, these high-iron dense characteristics were studied as they pertain to total available iron intake. It was concluded that the high-iron dense diet receives more total available iron from the nonheme iron than from the heme iron consumed. Thus, it is conceivable that those dietary characteristics shown to provide a high-iron dense diet may also provide a high available iron intake.



Included in

Nutrition Commons