Iron Pots for the Prevention and Treatment of Anemia in Preschoolers



To assess the effect of food cooked in iron pots for the prevention and treatment of iron deficiency anemia.


In this cluster randomized clinical trial, authors evaluated preschoolers aged 4–5 y for 16 wk. Children were cluster randomized to either eating from iron pots (Group A) or aluminum pots (Group B). Primary outcome variables were change in hemoglobin concentration and anemia prevalence. Two biochemical evaluations were performed, to determine Hb concentrations, before and after intervention. This study was conducted in two public preschools, located in the municipality of Mucambo, Ceará, in the northeast of Brazil.


At baseline, for group A, mean hemoglobin concentration was 12.26 ± 1.02 g/dL and 12.29 ± 0.95 g/dL after intervention, p = 0.78. In group B, mean baseline hemoglobin was 12.34 ± 1.04 g/dL, and 12.13 ± 0.86 g/dL after intervention, p = 0.07. All ten participants, who were anemic at baseline, were no longer anemic after intervention.


Using iron cooking pots in developing countries could provide an innovative strategy to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia.

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The authors would like to thank the infants and teachers at the infant education centers for their participation and cooperation during this study, and the Secretariat of Education and Secretariat of Health at the Municipal City Hall – Mucambo - Ceará for their support during the project.


FPNA, DRRM and PRS designed the research; FPNA, DRRM, PRS and CPCA conducted the research and analyzed the data; FPNA and DRRM wrote the paper. FPNA had primary responsibility for final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Peter Richard Hall, Department of Medicine - Centro Universitário INTA, Sobral, Ceará, Brazil will act as guarantor for this paper.

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Correspondence to Francisco Plácido Nogueira Arcanjo.

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Source of Funding

This project was funded by The Federal University of Ceará, Sobral Unit - Research Initiative Grant.

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Arcanjo, F.P.N., Macêdo, D.R.R., Santos, P.R. et al. Iron Pots for the Prevention and Treatment of Anemia in Preschoolers. Indian J Pediatr 85, 625–631 (2018).

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  • Anemia
  • Iron deficiency
  • Child nutrition
  • Brazil