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Survey indicates concerning rise in iron deficiency symptoms

Wednesday, August 24, 2022   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: nutrition, survey, awareness

Beef + Lamb New Zealand media release: 22nd August 2022

The results from an online iron quiz titled ‘Could you be low on iron?’ – which checks for common signs and symptoms of iron deficiency – point to some worrying trends.

The results from the 37,000 global responses to this New Zealand quiz are being released to coincide with World Iron Awareness Week. The survey saw over 62 percent of the respondents state they are struggling to get out of bed in the morning, 42 percent reporting they feel weak or dizzy all the time and over half saying they are short of breath after walking up a flight of steps.

Regina Wypych is the Head of Nutrition at Beef + Lamb New Zealand and says whilst these results are a toe in the water insight to how people are feeling, it can’t be concluded from the survey alone that respondents are categorically suffering from iron deficiency. But if they are an indicative depiction of iron deficiency and its symptoms, it’s a worrying outlook.

“New Zealand statistics on iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia are becoming outdated, and we have limited current knowledge on the state of the nation’s iron health. Until we gain further knowledge on this, it’s really important to keep raising awareness through initiatives like World Iron Awareness Week,” says Regina.

“What we do know from the number of people taking part, is that it suggests people are interested in the impact of diet on our health and if anyone is concerned about their health, they should consider visiting a health professional.”

In New Zealand, the many supporting organisations of this year’s World Iron Awareness Week (22nd to 28th August) will again highlight those most at risk of iron deficiency, the implications of being short on iron, dietary tips to optimise iron absorption along with a range of tasty iron-rich recipes.

This year’s campaign asks ‘Is low iron holding you back?’ When your energy levels are not what they should be and poor sleeping, late night Netflix, recovery from COVID or flu and life stresses can be dismissed, it could possibly be low iron causing tiredness, fatigue and headaches. Taking the quiz allows you to find out if you have any other signs and symptoms of low iron.

Get more information on World Iron Awareness Week and to take the quiz.