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Acta Paediatr. 2014 Jan;103(1):e17-26. doi: 10.1111/apa.12443. Epub 2013 Nov 18.

Providing lipid-based nutrient supplements does not affect developmental milestones among Malawian children.

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College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi; School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.



To assess whether using lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) to complement the diets of infants and young children affected when they achieved selected developmental milestones.


In rural Malawi, 840 6-month-old healthy infants were enrolled to a randomised trial. Control participants received no supplements, others were provided with milk-containing LNS, soy-containing LNS or corn-soy blend (CSB) for 12 months. Outcomes were the age at which they achieved key milestone: motor (walking with assistance, standing and walking alone, running), social (drinking from a cup and eating by themselves) and language (saying single comprehensible words and waving goodbye).


The mean age at which the subjects walked with assistance was 42.5, 42.3, 42.7 and 43.2 weeks in the control, milk-LNS, soy-LNS and CSB groups, respectively (p = 0.748). There were also no significant differences in the mean age at standing alone (45.0, 44.9, 45.1 and 46.3 weeks), walking alone (54.6, 55.1, 55.3, 56.5 weeks), running (64.6, 63.7, 64.8, 65.9 weeks) or any other social or language milestones (each p > 0.10).


The findings do not support a hypothesis that providing tested formulations and doses of micronutrient-fortified LNS or CSB would have an impact on when young children in rural Malawi achieved selected developmental milestones.


Child development; Complementary feeding; Developmental milestones; Infants and young children; Lipid-based nutrient supplements

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