What are the other nutritional deficiencies commonly found in the United States?
The other four common nutritional deficiencies found in the United States include:
Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, which is necessary for carrying oxygen to various organs and other tissues of the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), iron deficiency is most common in women and children.
Iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia, a condition characterized by a low number of red blood cells. Its signs and symptoms include fatigue, pale nails, eyes and skin, shortness of breath on mild exertion and headaches.
Some food sources of iron include spinach, broccoli, red meat, liver and oysters.
Iodine forms an essential component of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for multiple processes in the body, including growth, development and metabolism. Its deficiency can cause mental retardation, hypothyroidism and goiter.
Globally, iodine’s major food sources include iodized salt and seafood. In the United States, fortification of salt with iodine is not mandatory, yet over 90 percent of households in the United States have access to iodized salt. Iodine can also be obtained from eggs, dairy products and grains.
The mineral, magnesium, plays a role in digestion, bone health, sleep, mental health and cardiac health. Its deficiency can cause health issues, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes and even kidney damage, which is serious. Food sources of the mineral include whole grains, nuts, dark chocolate and dark, green leafy vegetables.
Calcium forms the major component of bone. It is also vital for the functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves. Its deficiency may cause bones to become brittle and weak, increasing the risk of developing joint pains and fractures. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products, dark green vegetables, beans, lentils and sardines.