An agriculture-nutrition intervention improved children's diet and growth in a randomized trial in Ghana.
ABSTRACT: Stunting in Ghana is associated with rural communities, poverty, and low education; integrated agricultural interventions can address the problem. This cluster randomized controlled trial tested the effect of a 12-month intervention (inputs and training for poultry farming and home gardening, and nutrition and health education) on child diet and nutritional status. Sixteen clusters were identified and randomly assigned to intervention or control; communities within clusters were randomly chosen, and all interested, eligible mother-child pairs were enrolled (intervention: 8 clusters, 19 communities, and 287 households; control: 8 clusters, 20 communities, and 213 households). Intention-to-treat analyses were used to estimate the effect of the intervention on endline minimum diet diversity (?4 food groups), consumption of eggs, and length-for-age (LAZ)/height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ), and weight-for-length (WLZ)/weight-for-height (WHZ) z-scores; standard errors were corrected for clustering. Children were 10.5 ± 5.2 months (range: 0-32) at baseline and 29.8 ± 5.4 months (range: 13-48) at endline. Compared with children in the control group, children in the intervention group met minimum diet diversity (adjusted odds ratio = 1.65, 95% CI [1.02, 2.69]) and a higher LAZ/HAZ (? = 0.22, 95% CI [0.09, 0.34]) and WAZ (? = 0.15, 95% CI [0.00, 0.30]). Sensitivity analyses with random-effects and mixed-effects models and as-treated analysis were consistent with the findings. There was no group difference in WLZ/WHZ. Integrated interventions that increase access to high-quality foods and nutrition education improve child nutrition.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chicken production in the context of nutrition-sensitive agriculture may benefit child nutrition in low-income settings. OBJECTIVES:This study evaluated effects of 1) a chicken production intervention [African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACGG)], and 2) the ACGG intervention with nutrition-sensitive behavior change communication (BCC) [ACGG + Agriculture to Nutrition (ATONU)], on child nutrition and health outcomes and hypothesized intermediaries. METHODS:Forty ACGG villages received 25 genetically improved chickens and basic husbandry guidance; of these, 20 ACGG + ATONU villages in addition received a nutrition-sensitive behavior change and homegardening intervention; 20 control clusters received no intervention. We assessed effects of the interventions on height-for-age z scores (HAZ), weight-for-age z scores (WAZ), and weight-for-height z scores (WHZ) at 9 (midline) and 18 mo (endline) through unadjusted and adjusted ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions. We examined the interventions' effects on hypothesized intermediaries including egg production and consumption, dietary diversity, women's empowerment, income, child morbidities, anemia, and chicken management practices through OLS and log binomial models. RESULTS:Data included 829 children aged 0-36 mo at baseline. ACGG + ATONU children had higher midline HAZ [mean difference (MD): 0.28; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.54] than controls. The ACGG group had higher HAZ (MD: 0.28; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.50) and higher WAZ (MD: 0.18; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.36) at endline than controls; after adjusting for potential baseline imbalance, effects were similar but not statistically significant. At endline, differences in ACGG + ATONU children's HAZ and WAZ compared with controls were similar in magnitude to those of ACGG, but not statistically significant. There were no differences in anthropometry between the intervention groups. ACGG + ATONU children had higher dietary diversity and egg consumption than ACGG children at endline. Both interventions showed improvements in chicken management practices. The interventions did not increase anemia, diarrhea, fever, or vomiting, and the ACGG + ATONU group at midline showed reduced risk of fever. CONCLUSIONS:A chicken production intervention with or without nutrition-sensitive BCC may have benefited child nutrition and did not increase morbidity.This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03152227.
Project description:In this multi-country cluster-randomized behavioural intervention trial promoting exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in Africa, we compared growth of infants up to 6 months of age living in communities where peer counsellors promoted EBF with growth in those infants living in control communities.A total of 82 clusters in Burkina Faso, Uganda and South Africa were randomised to either the intervention or the control arm. Feeding data and anthropometric measurements were collected at visits scheduled 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks post-partum. We calculated weight-for-length (WLZ), length-for-age (LAZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ) z-scores. Country specific adjusted Least Squares Means with 95% confidence intervals (CI) based on a longitudinal analysis are reported. Prevalence ratios (PR) for the association between peer counselling for EBF and wasting (WLZ?<?-2), stunting (LAZ?<?-2) and underweight (WAZ?<?-2) were calculated at each data collection point.The study included a total of 2,579 children. Adjusting for socio-economic status, the mean WLZ at 24 weeks were in Burkina Faso -0.20 (95% CI -0.39 to -0.01) and in Uganda -0.23 (95% CI -0.43 to -0.03) lower in the intervention than in the control arm. In South Africa the mean WLZ at 24 weeks was 0.23 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.43) greater in the intervention than in the control arm. Differences in LAZ between the study arms were small and not statistically significant. In Uganda, infants in the intervention arm were more likely to be wasted compared to those in the control arm at 24 weeks (PR 2.36; 95% CI 1.11 to 5.00). Differences in wasting in South Africa and Burkina Faso and stunting and underweight in all three countries were small and not significantly different.There were small differences in mean anthropometric indicators between the intervention and control arms in the study, but in Uganda and Burkina Faso, a tendency to slightly lower ponderal growth (weight-for-length z-scores) was found in the intervention arms.ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00397150.
Project description:The Lulun Project, a randomized controlled trial conducted in 2015, found that one egg per day for 6 months during early complementary feeding reduced stunting by 47% and increased linear growth by 0.63 length-for-age Z (LAZ). This follow-up cohort study (Lulun Project II) aimed to test whether the growth effect remained in the egg intervention group compared with the control group after approximately 2 years. Mothers or caregivers from the Lulun Project were recontacted and recruited for this study. Enumerators collected data on socio-economic and demographic factors, 24-hr frequency of dietary intakes, morbidities, and anthropometric measures of height, weight, and head circumference using World Health Organization protocols. Statistical analyses followed the same analytical plan as Lulun Project, applying generalized linear models and regression modelling to test group differences in height-for-age z (HAZ) from LAZ at Lulun Project endline, and structural equation modelling for mediation. One hundred thirty-five mother-child dyads were included in Lulun II, with 11% losses to follow-up from endline Lulun Project. Growth faltering across all children was evident with HAZ -2.07 ± 0.91 and a stunting prevelance of 50%. Regression modelling showed no difference between egg and control groups for the HAZ outcome and other anthropometric outcomes, and significant declines in HAZ from endline Lulun Project in the egg intervention are compared with control groups. Current dietary egg intake, however, was associated with reduced growth faltering in HAZ from Lulun Project endline to Lulun Project II, independent of group assignment and through mediation, explaining 8.8% of the total effect. Findings suggest the need for a longer intervention period and ongoing nutrition support to young children during early childhood.
Project description:This cluster randomised controlled trial tested the effectiveness of a locally produced, fish-based, ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) to prevent growth faltering (decline in z-scores). Cambodian infants (n= 485), aged 6 to 11 months, were randomised by site to receive the RUSF, Corn-Soy Blend++ (CSB++), micronutrient powders (MNP), or no supplement (control). The intervention was for 6 months. In unadjusted analysis, the control group had statistically significantly decreased weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ; -0.02, 95%CI = -0.03 - -0.01, P= 0.001) and height-for-age z-scores (HAZ; -0.07, 95%CI = -0.09 - -0.05, P < 0.001), and increased mid-upper arm-circumference (MUAC; 0.02cm, 95%CI = 0.01 - 0.04, P = 0.010), but no statistically significant change in weight-for-height z-scores (WHZ). The RUSF group did not differ significantly from the control for WAZ, HAZ or WHZ (in other words, WAZ and HAZ decreased and WHZ did not change), but had increased MUAC in comparison to the control (0.04cm, 95%CI = 0.01 - 0.06, P = 0.008). There were no statistically significant differences between the RUSF group and the CSB++ or MNP groups with respect to WAZ, HAZ, WHZ or MUAC. Interestingly, in adjusted analysis, low consumers of RUSF had increased WAZ, WHZ and MUAC (0.03, 95%CI = 0.01-0.06, P = 0.006; 0.04, 95%CI = 0.01-0.08, P = 0.026; and 0.05cm, 95%CI = 0.02-0.09, P = 0.004, respectively) compared with the control. The novel RUSF, particularly in small quantities, protected against ponderal growth faltering, but the improvements were of limited clinical significance.
Project description:Childhood malnutrition remains endemic in South Asia, although the burden varies by country. We examined the anthropometric status and risk factors for malnutrition among children aged 0-59 months through the 2015 National Nutrition Survey in Bhutan. We assessed in 1,506 children nutritional status (by z-scores of height-for-age [HAZ], weight-for-height [WHZ], and weight-for-age [WAZ]), estimating prevalence, adjusted for survey design, of stunting, wasting, underweight, and overweight (<-2 for HAZ, WHZ, and WAZ and >2 for WHZ). Children were also assessed for pedal oedema. We conducted multivariable linear/logistic regression analysis to identify child, maternal, and household risk factors for childhood undernutrition and overweight, excluding children with oedema (1.7%). Mean (SE) HAZ, WHZ, and WAZ were -0.82 (0.13), 0.10 (0.04), and -0.42 (0.05), respectively. Prevalence of stunting, wasting, underweight, and overweight were 21.2%, 2.6%, 7.4%, and 2.6%, respectively. In multivariable regressions, risk of stunting significantly increased by age: 5.3% at <6 months (reference), 16.8% at 6-23 months (OR = 3.06, 95% CI [0.63, 14.8]), and 25.0% at 24-59 months (OR = 5.07, [1.16, 22.2]). Risk of stunting also decreased in a dose-response manner with improved maternal education. None of the examined variables were significantly associated with wasting or overweight. Despite a WHZ distribution comparable with the World Health Organization reference (with ~2.6% vs. an expected 2.5% of children beyond 2 z in each tail), stunting persists in one fifth of preschool Bhutanese children, suggesting that other nutrient deficits or nonnutritional factors may be constraining linear growth for a substantial proportion of children.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The impact of in utero exposure to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on longitudinal growth of HIV-uninfected infants is unknown. METHODS:The Mashi and Mma Bana PMTCT intervention trials enrolled HIV-infected pregnant women at four sites in Botswana. Breast-fed (BF), HIV-uninfected infants born at 37 weeks or greater were included in this analysis. Weight-for-age (WAZ), length-for-age (LAZ), and weight-for-length (WLZ) z-scores were calculated using World Health Organization Child Growth Standards. Mean z-scores were compared between in utero antiretroviral exposure groups using Student t test, response profiles analysis, and general linear mixed effects modeling. RESULTS:Growth of 619 HAART-exposed and 440 zidovudine-exposed, HIV-uninfected infants was evaluated. Mean birth weights were 3.01 kg for HAART and 3.15 kg for zidovudine-exposed infants (P < 0.001) with lower mean birth WAZ, length-for-age (LAZ), and weight-for-length (WLZ) among HAART-exposed infants (all P < 0.001). HAART-exposed infants had greater improvement in WAZ and weight-for-length (WLZ) from birth through 2 months (P = 0.03, P < 0.001, respectively). The WAZ did not differ between groups from 3 through 6 months (P = 0.26). Length-for-age (LAZ) remained lower in HAART-exposed infants but the incidence of wasting or stunting did not differ between exposure groups. CONCLUSIONS:Lower weights in HAART-exposed uninfected infants at birth were rapidly corrected during the first 6 months of life.
Project description:High-quality protein has been associated with child growth; however, the role of the amino acid cysteine remains unclear. The aim was to measure the extent to which plasma total cysteine (tCys) concentration is associated with anthropometric status in children aged 6-30 months living in New Delhi, India. The study was a prospective cohort study including 2102 children. We calculated Z-scores for height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-height (WHZ), or weight-for-age (WAZ) according to the WHO Child Growth Standards. We used multiple regression models to estimate the association between tCys and the anthropometric indices. A high proportion of the children were categorized as malnourished at enrolment; 41% were stunted (HAZ ? -2), 19% were wasted (WHZ ? -2) and 42% underweight (WAZ ? -2). Plasma total cysteine (tCys) was significantly associated with HAZ, WHZ and WAZ after adjusting for relevant confounders (p < 0.001). Low tCys (?25th percentile) was associated with a decrease of 0.28 Z-scores for HAZ, 0.10 Z-scores for WHZ, and 0.21 Z-scores for WAZ compared to being >25th percentile. In young Indian children from low-to-middle socioeconomic neighborhoods, a low plasma total cysteine concentration was associated with an increased risk of poor anthropometric status.
Project description:Growth faltering and micronutrient deficiencies commonly coexist in HIV-exposed children in sub-Saharan Africa, and correcting deficiencies, such as those of vitamins B-complex, C, and E, may improve HIV-related endpoints and child growth. We therefore examined the effect of daily oral supplementation of vitamins B-complex, C, and E on growth among 2341 children born to HIV-infected mothers in Tanzania. HIV-infected women pregnant at ?32 wk of gestation were enrolled in the study. Children were randomized at age 6 wk to receive multivitamins or placebo until age 104 wk. All women received the same types of vitamins pre- and postnatally. At 6 wk, 256 children (11.1%) were HIV infected and the mean (SD) Z-scores for length for age (LAZ), weight for length (WLZ), and weight for age (WAZ) were -0.39 ± 1.20, -0.21 ± 1.23, and -0.52 ± 1.11, respectively. There was no overall treatment effect on LAZ, WLZ, or WAZ profiles during the follow-up (P ? 0.15). There was no treatment effect from 6 to 104 wk on LAZ [(95% CI: -0.14, 0.13); P = 0.94], WLZ [(95% CI: -0.17, 0.13); P = 0.78], or WAZ [(95% CI: -0.15, 0.16); P = 0.97] or on the incidence of growth failure, defined as respective Z-scores < -2 (P ? 0.29). Among the subgroup of HIV-uninfected children, there was no treatment effect from 6 to 104 wk on LAZ, WLZ, and WAZ (P ? 0.71) or on the incidence of growth failure (P ? 0.16). Multivitamin supplements had no effect on growth among children born to HIV-infected women who were themselves receiving multivitamins.
Project description:Rural infant growth failure has been highlighted as a priority for action in China's national nutrition and child development policies. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effect of community-based intervention project on child feeding, child health care and child growth.From 2001 to 2005, UNICEF and China's Ministry of Health worked together to develop holistic strategies for child health care. All the interventions were implemented through the three-tier (county-township-village) rural health care network.In this study, 34 counties were included in both surveys in 2001 and 2005. Among these 34 counties, nine were subjected to the intervention and 25 counties were used as controls. In nine intervention counties, leaflets containing information of supplemental feeding of infants and young children were printed and distributed to women during hospital delivery or visit to newborn by village doctors. Two cross-sectional surveys were both conducted from July to early September in 2001 and 2005. We calculated Z-scores of height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ) and weight-for-height (WHZ), with the new WHO growth standard. HAZ?<?-?2 was defined as stunting, WAZ?<?-?2 was defined as underweight, and WHZ?<?-?2 was defined as wasting.Following the four-year study period, the parents in the intervention group showed significantly better infant and young child feeding practices and behaviors of child care than did their control group counterparts. In addition, all three anthropometric indicators in 2005 in the intervention group were better than in the control, with stunting 4.9% lower (p?<?0.001), underweight 2.2% lower (p?<?0.001), and wasting 1.0% lower (p?<?0.05).We concluded that the health care education intervention embed in government had the potential to be successfully promoted in rural western China.
Project description:Maternal and child under nutrition is highly prevalent in low-income and middle-income countries, resulting in substantial increases in mortality and overall disease burden. The aim of this baseline survey was to determine the association between selected maternal characteristics, maternal nutritional status and children's nutritional status.A survey with a cross sectional design was conducted between September and October 2012 in Hula, Ethiopia. The study subjects were 197 mothers of children between the ages of 6 and 23 months. Weight and height (mothers) or recumbent length (children) were measured using calibrated, standardized techniques. Seven percent of children were below -2 weight for height Z score (WHZ), 11.5% were below -2 height for age Z score (HAZ) and 9.9% were below -2 weight for age Z score (WAZ). Maternal anthropometrics were associated with child nutritional status in the bivariate analysis. Maternal BMI (r = 0.16 P = 0.02) and educational status (r = 0.25 P = 0.001) were correlated with WHZ of children while maternal height (r = 0.2 P = 0.007) was correlated with HAZ of children. After multivariate analysis, children whose mothers had salary from employment had a better WHZ score (P = 0.001) and WAZ score (P<0.001). Both maternal BMI and maternal height were associated with WHZ (P = 0.04) and HAZ (P = 0.01) score of children.Having a mother with better nutritional status and salaried employment is a benefit for the nutritional status of the child. The interrelationship between maternal and child nutritional status stresses the value of improving maternal nutritional status as this should improve both maternal and child health outcomes. Therefore strategies to improve nutritional status of children should also include improving the nutritional status of the mother and empowering her financially.