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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2012;21(3):361-73.

Combined intensive nutrition education and micronutrient powder supplementation improved nutritional status of mildly wasted children on Nias Island, Indonesia.

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Institute for Social Sciences in Agriculture, Center of Gender and Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Schloss, Museumsfluegel, Stuttgart-Germany.


To assess the impact of intensive nutrition education (INE) with or without the provision of micronutrient powder (MNP) on the nutritional status of mildly wasted children in Nias, Indonesia, two groups of mildly wasted (>=-1.5 to <-1.0 WHZ) children aged >=6 to <60 months in the Church World Service (CWS) project areas were assigned by village randomization to receive INE (n=64) or INE+MNP (n=51) in a weekly program. Another two groups of mildly wasted children who were living at a clear distance from INE and INE+MNP villages were selected to receive a monthly non-intensive nutrition education program (NNE) with or without MNP (n=50 both respectively). WHZ, weight, height, haemoglobin (Hb) level, and morbidity data were assessed at admission, during the study, and at individual discharge. Children's weight gain (g/kg body weight/day) was highest in INE+MNP group (2.2±2.1), followed by INE (1.1±0.9), NNE+MNP (0.3±0.5) and NNE (0.3±0.4) group. In both MNP intervention groups (INE+MNP, NNE+MNP), supplements significantly increased Hb value (g/L) of respective children (10.0±10.0; p<0.001 and 3.0±8.0; p<0.05 respectively). Proportion of children who reached discharge criterion was highest among the INE+MNP (70.6%; n=36), followed by INE (64.1%; n=41), NNE+MNP (26.0%; n=13), and NNE (20.0%; n=10) groups (p<0.001). Shortest length of stay until recovery was observed among children in the INE+MNP group (29.9 days), followed by INE (40.0 days), NNE+MNP (80.6 days), and NNE (86.2 days) respectively (p<0.001). Weekly intensive nutrition education supported by MNP supplementation produced the best results regarding weight gain and haemoglobin status of mildly wasted children.

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