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Appetite. 2009 Oct;53(2):195-202. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.06.008. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

Malawian mothers' attitudes towards the use of two supplementary foods for moderately malnourished children.

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School of Public Health, FIN-33014 University of Tampere, Finland.


The efficacy of lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) versus corn-soy blend (CSB) in promoting the growth of moderately malnourished children is currently being tested, but information about maternal attitudes towards the two supplements is lacking. This research studied 504 Malawian mothers' attitudes about LNS and CSB through exit interviews completed at the end of three 12-week clinical trials and compared differences between the groups. Exploratory analyses of factors associated with withholding of supplements during fever, diarrhea, and cough were performed using logistic regression. Mothers generally had similar, positive attitudes towards LNS and CSB. Both supplements were said to be highly acceptable, children learned to eat them within two weeks, and mothers were willing to use them again. Mothers in the LNS group were reportedly more likely to withhold supplements from their children during cough, due to its sweetness, and were willing to pay more for a one-week supply of supplement than mothers in the CSB group. Maternal literacy was negatively and child's weight-for-height z-score was positively associated with withholding of supplements during illness. Our results indicate that the sweetness in LNS should be reduced, and programs using supplements in Malawi could include advice on appropriate feeding of supplements during illness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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