Micronutrient malnutrition is a term commonly used to refer to mineral and vitamin nutritional deficiency diseases. Iron deficiency anemia, vitamin A deficiency and
iodine deficiency disorders are among the most common forms of micronutrient malnutrition. Although the major malnutrition problems are found in developing countries, micronutrient deficiencies also exist in some vulnerable groups in developed countries (e.g., children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating mothers). Deficiency in iron, vitamin A, or iodine affects 30% of the world’s population. Some 735 million people suffer from clinical forms of these deficiencies and another 2 billion from subclinical forms. Iron deficiency anemia affects 60% of Asian women of reproductive age and 40 to 50% of children enrolled in preschool and primary grades (Joseph 2000). This deficiency causes more than half the maternal deaths in the world and depresses academic achievement in language and reading skills of young students.