New study shows a link between obesity and iron deficiency

According to a new study published by the UT Southwestern Medical Center, toddlers who have a weight problem tend to have an iron deficiency. The problem seems to be even more apparent in Hispanic children.

This is the first study that shows a link between obesity and lack of iron in young children. Only 7% of children with normal weight have iron deficiency compared to 20% of obese children with iron deficiency.

Experts say that parents who feed their young children cow’s milk and bottled juice for long periods of time are responsible because these drinks, which are low in iron, can’t replace iron-rich foods like meat, eggs, green vegetables and beans.


Children who go to day care, where there is often more importance placed on diet, are 50% less likely to suffer from iron deficiency. The fact that fewer Hispanic children go to day care may explain why iron deficiency is higher in this population group.


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What it does: Helps red blood cells carry oxygen

Where to find it: Red meat, pork, fish and shellfish, dates and raisins, lentils and other beans, leafy green vegetables, and foods made with enriched flour.