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A six-month intervention with two different types of micronutrient-fortified complementary foods had distinct short- and long-term effects on linear and ponderal growth of Vietnamese infants



A six-month intervention with two different types of micronutrient-fortified complementary foods had distinct short- and long-term effects on linear and ponderal growth of Vietnamese infants



Journal of Nutrition 142(9): 1735-1740



Traditional complementary foods (CF) with a low nutrient density have been implicated in growth faltering, stunting, and other adverse outcomes in children. The efficacy of 2 types of locally produced, micronutrient-fortified CF to prevent stunting of infants living in rural Vietnam was evaluated. In a village-randomized controlled study, 426 infants, 5 mo of age, received for 6 mo a fortified CF, either as an instant flour (FF) or a food complement (FC) in village canteens, or traditional CF at home (C). After 6 mo of intervention, weight, length, length-for-age Z-score (LAZ) and weight-for-age Z-score were greater in the 2 intervention groups compared with the C group, with an estimated effect of +0.22 LAZ for the FF group and +0.21 LAZ for the FC group. At the last follow-up, 18 mo after the intervention, there was no significant difference in height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) between the groups, even though the HAZ in the FF group was 0.17 greater than that in the C group (P = 0.18). In contrast, the weight-for-height Z-score and BMI Z-score, indices of ponderal growth, were greater in the FF group (-0.49 and -0.26, respectively) than in the FC group (-0.73 and -0.49, respectively), with Z-scores in the C group intermediate and not significantly different from the others. This study shows that regular provision of locally produced CF fortified with micronutrients partly stopped growth faltering in Vietnamese infants, with differential effects on long-term length and ponderal growth. Providing only micronutrients instead of a complete array of nutrients might result in only short-term length growth benefits.

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Accession: 036553374

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PMID: 22810985

DOI: 10.3945/jn.111.154211


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