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Am J Clin Nutr. 1982 Jul;36(1):68-78.

Worker productivity and the nutritional status of Kenyan road construction laborers.


The effects of energy supplementation (group I received 200 kcal/day and group II received 1000/kcal day) were examined on road workers in Kenya. Anthropometric, dietary, worker productivity, clinical hematology, and parasitology data were collected from 224 workers of both sexes or, subsamples of these workers at base-line, midpoint, and final measurement periods. Sixty-seven percent of the work force was less than 85% of weight for height. Females tended to be better nourished than males. Multiple regression analysis showed that increases in arm circumference and Hb levels were associated with significant productivity gains of about 4%. At the midpoint, group II males gained 1.10 kg (p less than 0.0003) while group I males showed no change. Weight loss during the latter part of the study resulted in no significant final weight change for males. "Successful" supplementation was weakly associated with a productivity increase for group II workers of 12.5% (p less than 0.10).

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