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J Nutr. 1995 Apr;125(4 Suppl):1068S-1077S.

Nutritional supplementation during the preschool years influences body size and composition of Guatemalan adolescents.

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  • 1Centro de Investigaciones en Salud Pública, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Morelos, Mexico.


Effects of supplementary feeding during early childhood on body size and composition at adolescence are examined in a population with marked growth failure in the first 3 y of life. The data came from a supplementation trial conducted in rural Guatemala from 1969 to 1977 and a 1988-89 follow-up study of the same subjects at adolescence. Two pairs of villages participated in the trial. One village from each pair received a high protein-energy supplement (Atole), which significantly improved dietary intakes, whereas the other village of the pair received a low-energy, no-protein supplement (Fresco), which did not impact appreciably on dietary intakes. Children from Atole villages grew better during the preschool period than children from Fresco villages. At adolescence, subjects from Atole villages were taller, weighed more and had greater fat-free masses than subjects from Fresco villages. Differences in height at adolescence were slightly reduced in magnitude relative to differences at 3 y of age. However, differences in weight were increased in adolescence relative to 3 y of age.

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