Prevention of malnutrition among young children in rural Bangladesh by a food-health-care educational intervention: a randomized, controlled trial.Food Nutr Bull. 2007 Dec; 28(4):375-83.FN
As a result of inappropriate feeding, poor health and hygiene, and poor caring practices, the nutritional status of many young infants deteriorates with advancing age.
To explore the effectiveness of a nutrition education package to prevent malnutrition among young children.
A community-based, randomized, controlled trial was conducted among 605 normal and mildly malnourished children aged 6 to 9 months in 121 Community Nutrition Centers (CNCs) of the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project (BINP) in four regions of Bangladesh from 2000 to 2002. The intervention group received weekly nutrition education based on the nutrition triangle concept of UNICEF for 6 months, whereas the control group received regular BINP services. Both groups were observed for a further 6 months to assess the sustainability of the effects. Information on socioeconomic status, feeding patterns, morbidity, and anthropometric features was collected.
A significant increase in the frequency of complementary feeding was observed in the intervention group as compared with the control group, and the increase was sustained throughout the observation period. The intervention group had a higher weight gain than the control group after the end of the intervention (0.86 vs. 0.77 kg, p = 0.053) and after the end of the observation period (1.81 vs. 1.39 kg, p < .001). The proportion of normal and mildly malnourished children was greater in the intervention group than in the control group after the end of the observations (88.9% vs. 61.5%, p < .001). Nutrition education successfully prevented malnutrition in all the areas. Variation in the outcome of nutrition education among the regions was observed.
This culturally appropriate nutrition education package based on the nutrition triangle model effectively prevented growth faltering and malnutrition among young children.