Why do people living in Kenya have a different diet than people living in Bangladesh? To answer that we need to know that diets are usually affected by three main determinants which are; social class, cultural background and social context. Bangladesh is a developing country where majority of the people are still facing severe amount of poverty and because of that most of the people have problems with nutrition. One of the most common micronutrients deficiency in Bangladesh is iron deficiency which affects about half of all children and more than 70 percent of all women. 1 The main cause of iron deficiency in Bangladesh is inadequate intake of iron. Recommended dietary allowances of iron is 8 mg for 19-50 years old males and 18 for females. Heme and non-heme are two forms of dietary iron. Heme is the type of iron which is found in poultry and fish. On the other hand, non-heme is a type of iron which is found in plant based foods like fruits, nuts and vegetables. This extended essay will be focusing on answering one main question which is: –
To what extent does social class influence iron deficiencies in Bangladeshi households?
I have decided to carry out an experiment in which I divided the people in our society in two groups; high wage earners and minimum wage earners. Usually people with minimum income have the tendency to have an unbalanced diet as healthy foods are more likely to be expensive. For my experiment I will be mainly focusing on the diet of Bangladeshi people as I am from Bangladesh and it will be convenient for me to carry out my primary research. Moving ahead, I divided the people in our community in these two groups so that I am not only able to make my research specific but also to compare and contrast the diets of different people in an organized manner. I’ll be conducting an experiment in which I’ll find out the ratio of iron in people’s diet and how different percentage of iron present in a person’s body affect someone. Moreover, my main moto is to find out approximately which group of people has higher percentage of iron deficiency.
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Iron is an essential component in haemoglobin. Inside the red blood cells haemoglobins are found and these cells carry oxygen to our lungs so that oxygen can be transported throughout our body. Two thirds of the iron present in our body is represented by haemoglobin, so if we do not have sufficient amount of iron then our body will not be able to make oxygen carrying red blood cells. There are several negative consequences of not having enough iron in our body. 2
I have made five standard calibration curves of Fe(SCN)6-3 solution with the help of Spectrophotometer. By reacting iron(III) chloride with potassium thiocyanate I made the solutions of Fe(SCN)6-3 . Now I’ll be able to determine the amount of iron in food substances usually consumed by Bengali people by comparing the standard calibration curves with the food samples’ curve. Therefore, by conducting this experiment I’ll be able to find out the approximate percentage of iron deficiency in our community.
Determining the amount of iron in food substance is quite difficult. However, I watched quite a few videos on YouTube and also researched on the internet to know more about the procedures. Later, by modifying the procedures I found on the internet I came up with my own method with the help of my EE supervisor.
In order to find out the amount of iron in the food samples I at first had to make the solution of Fe(SCN)63- by mixing Iron tetrachloride, Potassium thyicyanate and Hydrochloric acid. The chemicals used to make Fe(SCN)63- were made by me in our school’s chemistry lab. I made different concentrations of Fe(SCN)63- and by using them I constructed the standard calibration curve with the help of Spectrometer VIS.
In order to make 1.5 M of Potassium thyicyanate (KSCN) solution I used a volumetric flask of 0.1 dm3. After putting 14.57g of KSCN in the volumetric flask I filled it up with distilled water until 100ml mark was met. Then I inverted and shook the volumetric flask so that the KSCN completely dissolved in the distilled water.
Below the calculations used to find out the mass and mole KSCN are given:-