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In contrast to Asia, malnutrition among young children is on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa. A key millennium development goal (MDG) called for the reduction of underweight prevalence by 50% by the year 2015. Overall, in Africa, prevalence is expected to increase from 24% in 1990 to 27% in 2015. High rates of HIV/AIDS prevalence exacerbate malnutrition. Hence in East Africa, where the HIV/AIDS effect is strong, underweight prevalence is predicted to be 25% higher in 2015 than in 1990.


Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient for human health. Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is widespread among young children in the developing world; globally, 127 million children under six years of age are estimated to be affected. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and India have the highest estimated prevalence rates of sub-clinical vitamin A deficiency. VAD can limit growth, weaken immunity, cause xeropthalmia leading to blindness, and increase mortality.


There are two types of vitamin A available in foods: preformed retinol (vitamin A itself) typically found in animal foods such as eggs, liver, and milk; and provitamin A carotenoids found in plant foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits, and orange-fleshed sweetpotato. Β-carotene is the major provitamin A carotenoid, and the dominant carotenoid in orange-fleshed sweetpotato.

Authors: Jan W. Low, Regina Kapinga, Donald Cole, Cornelia Loechl, John Lynam, Jan W. Low, Regina Kapinga, Donald Cole, Cornelia Loechl, John Lynam, [63], [63]

Contributors: Jan W. Low, Jan W. Low

Subjects: Nutrition

Pages: 33

Publisher: International Potato Center (CIP)

Publication Date: 2009

Keywords: NUTRITIONAL IMPACT WITH ORANGE-FLESHED SWEETPOTATO (OFSP), OFSP, Orange fleshed sweetpotato, Sweetpotato


Low, Jan, Regina Kapinga, Donald Cole, Cornelia Loechl, John Lynam, and Maria Andrade. "Challenge theme paper 3: Nutritional impact with orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP)." International Potato Center (CIP) (2009): 73.