Although more and more national surveys have included the assessment of plasma zinc concentration in recent years, there is still insufficient data on the global prevalence of zinc deficiency. Until further information becomes available, the stunting prevalence can be used as a proxy to estimate the risk of zinc deficiency. In addition, Wessells and Brown (2012) estimated the prevalence of inadequate zinc intake based on the estimated absorbable zinc content of the national food supplies as derived from national food balance sheet data obtained from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. To confirm the prevalence of zinc deficiency, it is recommended to assess plasma zinc concentration and/or dietary zinc intake in countries identified at high risk of zinc deficiency based on a high stunting prevalence or high prevalence of inadequate zinc in the food supply.

Estimated country-specific prevalence of inadequate dietary zinc availability based on FAO’s food balance sheets

 

Figure 1. Estimated country-specific prevalence of inadequate zinc intake.

Data are based on the composite nutrient composition database, IZINCG physiological requirements, the Miller Equation to estimate zinc absorption and an assumed 25% inter-individual variation in zinc intake. Data are for the 2005 time frame (2003–2007).

Reference

Wessells KR, Brown KH (2012) Estimating the Global Prevalence of Zinc Deficiency: Results Based on Zinc Availability in National Food Supplies and the Prevalence of Stunting. PLoS ONE 7(11): e50568. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050568

 

Stunting Prevalence

 

Figure 2. Latest country prevalence estimates for stunting among children under-five years of age.

Reference

UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates. http://www.who.int/nutgrowthdb/jme_unicef_who_wb.pdf

 

Estimated Global Prevalence of Zinc Deficiency: Results Based on Zinc Availability in National Food Supplies and the Prevalence of Stunting

 

Figure 3. National risk of zinc deficiency based on the prevalence of childhood stunting and the estimated prevalence of inadequate zinc intake.

Stunting data (low height-for-age) are for children less than five years of age in138 low- and middle-income countries. The estimated prevalence of inadequate zinc intake is based on the FAO national food balance sheet data, the composite nutrient composition database, IZINCG physiological requirements, the Miller Equation to estimate zinc absorption and an assumed 25% inter-individual variation in zinc intake.

Reference

Wessells KR, Brown KH (2012) Estimating the Global Prevalence of Zinc Deficiency: Results Based on Zinc Availability in National Food Supplies and the Prevalence of Stunting. PLoS ONE 7(11): e50568. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050568

 

PLASMA or serum ZINC CONCENTRATION DATA ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES 

Afghanistan — National Nutrition Survey Afghanistan (2013) Survey Report
Azerbaijan — Nutrition Survey 2013 
Bangladesh — National Micronutrients Status Survey 2011-12 – Final Report
Bolivia — data coming
Cambodia — Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey – 2014 ; zinc data coming soon
Cameroon — Stunting Prevalence, Plasma Zinc Concentrations, and Dietary Zinc Intakes in a Nationally Representative Sample Suggest a High Risk of Zinc Deficiency among Women and Young Children in Cameroon
China — data coming
Colombia —  Factores asociados a la deficiencia de zinc en niños colombianos; resultados de la Encuesta Nacional de Salud 2010; estudio transversal 
Ethiopia — data coming
Fiji   Impact of Iron Fortified Flour in Child Bearing Age (CBA) Women in Fiji 2010 Report
Guatemala — data coming
India — samples being collected 2016-2017
Kenya —  Anaemia and Status of Iron, Vitamin A and Zinc in Kenya – The 1999 National Survey Report
Kuwait — Reference Ranges of Copper and Zinc and the Prevalence of Their Deficiencies in an Arab Population Aged 15-80 Years
Malawi — data coming
Maldives — Project Report National Micronutrient Survey 2007 Republic of Maldives
Mexico — Anemia and iron, zinc, copper and magnesium deficiency in Mexican adolescents: National Health and Nutrition Survey 2006 ; Prevalence of Zinc Deficiency in Mexican Children and Women of Childbearing Age (abstract);  Iron, zinc, copper and magnesium nutritional status in Mexican children aged 1 to 11 years ; Iron, zinc, copper and magnesium deficiencies in Mexican adults from the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2006
Myanmar — samples being collected 2016-2017
Nepal — data coming
Nigeria — Nigeria Food Consumption and Nutrition Survey 2001-2003: Summary
Pakistan — National Nutrition Survey Pakistan 2011 ; Evaluation of Zinc Status and Community Perceptions in Pakistan: The National Nutrition Survey 2011 (abstract)
Philippines— 7th National Nutrition Survey, Philippines 2008: Serum Zinc Levels in Selected Filipino Population Groups
Senegal— Statut en Zinc des Enfants Senegalais et Evaluation de L’Utilisation de la Concentration Plasmatique en Zinc pour Tester L’Impact des Programmes de Fortification ; Adjusting Plasma Concentrations of Ferritin, Retinol, and Zinc Affect the Prevalence of Micronutrient Deficiencies in Children but Not in Women (abstract); 
South Africa — The National Food Consumption Survey (NFCS): South Africa, 1999
Sri Lanka — National Nutrition and Micronutrient Survey – Part II: Iron, Zinc and Calcium Deficiency Among Children Aged 6-59 Months
Vietnam — Micronutrient Deficits Are Still Public Health Issues among Women and Young Children in Vietnam