The World Bank's World Development Report 1993 found micronutrient programs to be among the most cost-effective of all health interventions. The cost of micronutrient supplementation needs to be balanced against the cost of other food-based and public-health interventions as well as against the cost of not addressing the insidious effects of micronutrient deficiencies. Costs are likely to vary depending on the scope of the program, existing delivery mechanisms, the nutrient involved, and other factors. Based on World Bank estimates, the costs of vitamin A, iron, and iodine supplementation programs are relatively modest, ranging from US$0.20 to US$1.70 per beneficiary per year. These costs are slightly higher than the estimated relative costs of fortification (US$0.05-0.15 per beneficiary per year) but are considerably lower than the unit costs of education programs (US$5-10) and feeding programs (US$70-100 per beneficiary per year).
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For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.