Maize and soy flour mixes are often used in the treatment of moderate malnutrition in Malawi. Their efficacy has not been formally evaluated. A recently developed ready-to-use food (RTUF) effectively promotes growth among severely malnourished children. The authors compared the effect of maize and soy flour with that of RTUF in the home treatment of moderately malnourished children.
Sixty-one underweight, stunted children 42 to 60 months of age were recruited in rural Malawi, in southeastern Africa. They received either RTUF or maize and soy flour for 12 weeks. Both supplements provided 2 MJ (500Kcal) of energy daily but had different energy and nutrient densities. Outcome variables were weight and height gain and dietary intake.
Before intervention, the mean dietary intake and weight and height gain were similar in the two groups. During the supplementation phase, the consumption of staple food fell among children receiving maize and soy flour but not among those receiving RTUF. There was thus higher intake of energy, fat, iron, and zinc in the RTUF group. Both supplements resulted in modest weight gain, but the effect lasted longer after RTUF supplementation. Height gain was not affected in either group. Periodic 24-hour dietary recalls suggested that the children received only 30% and 43%, respectively, of the supplementary RTUF and maize and soy flour provided.
RTUF is an acceptable alternative to maize and soy flour for dietary supplementation of moderately malnourished children. Approaches aimed at increasing the consumption of supplementary food by the selected recipients are needed.
"LNS increased concentrations of haemoglobin in African children (Kuusipalo et al. 2006; Adu-Afarwuah et al. 2008) and vitamin B12 and folate in the present study in Honduran children (Siega-Riz et al. 2014). Observational and quantitative studies in Africa indicate that LNS are consumed in addition to usual foods and increase macroand micronutrient intakes (Maleta et al. 2004; Adu-Afarwuah et al. 2007; Flax et al. 2008; Hemsworth et al. 2013; Thakwalakwa et al. 2014), but it should be noted that some of these studies assumed that participants consumed LNS as intended and measured overall dietary intake without quantifying the amount of LNS eaten. Food cultures, diet quality and levels of food insecurity vary greatly between and within countries and regions, making it important to understand how products, such as LNS, affect dietary intakes in different locations. "
"First, this intervention produced several potential positive outcomes, the sum of which should be considered the full program outcome; this study has only assessed costs per individual disease outcomes. Next, diarrhea and anemia were secondary outcomes of the RCT and may not be the best indicators to reflect the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of RUSF supplementation; however morbidity outcomes are commonly assessed in LNS studies [6,14-17,21,23]. Additionally, diarrhea was measured by recall, which although common practice  may not have been sufficiently accurate. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite growing interest in use of lipid nutrient supplements for preventing child malnutrition and morbidity, there is inconclusive evidence on the effectiveness, and no evidence on the cost-effectiveness of this strategy.
A cost effectiveness analysis was conducted comparing costs and outcomes of two arms of a cluster randomized controlled trial implemented in eastern Chad during the 2010 hunger gap by Action contre la Faim France and Ghent University. This trial assessed the effect on child malnutrition and morbidity of a 5-month general distribution of staple rations, or staple rations plus a ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF). RUSF was distributed to households with a child aged 6--36 months who was not acutely malnourished (weight-for-height > = 80% of the NCHS reference median, and absence of bilateral pitting edema), to prevent acute malnutrition in these children. While the addition of RUSF to a staple ration did not result in significant reduction in wasting rates, cost-effectiveness was assessed using successful secondary outcomes of cases of diarrhea and anemia (hemoglobin <110 g/L) averted among children receiving RUSF.Total costs of the program and incremental costs of RUSF and related management and logistics were estimated using accounting records and key informant interviews, and include costs to institutions and communities. An activity-based costing methodology was applied and incremental costs were calculated per episode of diarrhea and case of anemia averted.
Adding RUSF to a general food distribution increased total costs by 23%, resulting in an additional cost per child of 374 EUR, and an incremental cost per episode of diarrhea averted of 1,083 EUR and per case of anemia averted of 3,627 EUR.
Adding RUSF to a staple ration was less cost-effective than other standard intervention options for averting diarrhea and anemia. This strategy holds potential to address a broad array of health and nutrition outcomes in emergency settings where infrastructure is weak and other intervention options are infeasible in the short-term. However, further research is needed to establish the contexts in which RUSF is most effective and cost-effective in preventing acute malnutrition and morbidity among vulnerable children, compared to other options.
"However, these estimates contained considerable levels of heterogeneity, both in terms of study design and in terms of intervention quality, which is poorly captured by most studies. Furthermore, several individual studies that we were unable to pool in our meta-analysis report modest or no statistically significant difference in key nutritional outcomes when comparing products [60-62]. There are several dozen ongoing or planned studies focused on demonstrating efficacy or effectiveness between or among a range of possible food products and nutrient supplements in the context of the management of MAM, most of which will have reports in the upcoming few years (personal communication CMAM Forum, 2012). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Globally, moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) affect approximately 52 million children under five. This systematic review evaluates the effectiveness of interventions for SAM including the World Health Organization (WHO) protocol for inpatient management and community-based management with ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF), as well as interventions for MAM in children under five years in low- and middle-income countries.
We systematically searched the literature and included 14 studies in the meta-analysis. Study quality was assessed using CHERG adaptation of GRADE criteria. A Delphi process was undertaken to complement the systematic review in estimating case fatality and recovery rates that were necessary for modelling in the Lives Saved Tool (LiST).
Case fatality rates for inpatient treatment of SAM using the WHO protocol ranged from 3.4% to 35%. For community-based treatment of SAM, children given RUTF were 51% more likely to achieve nutritional recovery than the standard care group. For the treatment of MAM, children in the RUSF group were significantly more likely to recover and less likely to be non-responders than in the CSB group. In both meta-analyses, weight gain in the intervention group was higher, and although statistically significant, these differences were small. Overall limitations in our analysis include considerable heterogeneity in many outcomes and an inability to evaluate intervention effects separate from commodity effect. The Delphi process indicated that adherence to standardized protocols for the treatment of SAM and MAM should have a marked positive impact on mortality and recovery rates; yet, true consensus was not achieved.
Gaps in our ability to estimate effectiveness of overall treatment approaches for SAM and MAM persist. In addition to further impact studies conducted in a wider range of settings, more high quality program evaluations need to be conducted and the results disseminated.
BMC Public Health 09/2013; 13 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):S23. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-S3-S23 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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