TitleAcceptability of Micronutrient Fortified School Meals by Schoolchildren in Rural Himalayan Villages of India
AuthorsOsei A. K., Houser R. F., Bulusu S., Hamer D. H.
PublicationJ Food Sci. 2008 Sep; 73(7):S354-8.
AbstractThis cross-sectional randomized controlled study assessed the social acceptability of micronutrient fortified cooked lunch meals by schoolchildren in rural Himalayan villages of India, in a program where the cooking and the micronutrient fortification were done at school. Subjects were randomly assigned to treatment (91) and control (90) groups. The treatment group consumed a weighed amount of cooked lunch meals fortified with locally produced multi-micronutrient premix and the control group consumed a weighed amount of the same meals but without added micronutrient premix. After having eaten, subjects were asked to rate, on a 3-point Likert scale using "smiley" faces, the pleasantness of smell, taste, and overall satisfaction with the food. The mean age of study children was 7.96 +/- 1.64 y and 48.6% were males. The average amounts of food consumed by the treatment and control groups were 345 +/- 114 and 360 +/- 102.4 g, respectively. Addition of the multi-micronutrient premix to school meals did not significantly affect the mean amount of food consumed by the schoolchildren (P > 0.05; independent sample t-test). No significant differences were seen between treatment and control groups in terms of ratings for taste, smell, and the general acceptance of the micronutrient fortified or the unfortified school meals. In conclusion, the addition of a multiple micronutrient premix to school meals was well liked by schoolchildren and did not adversely affect their food consumption.