TitleEffect of an Integrated Child Nutrition Intervention on the Complementary Food Intake of Young Children in Rural North Viet Nam
AuthorsPachon H., Schroeder D. G., Marsh D. R., Dearden K. A., Ha T. T., Lang T. T.
PublicationFood Nutr Bull. 2002 Dec; 23(4 Suppl):62-9.
AbstractForty-two percent of Vietnamese children are stunted by two years of age. Since 1990, Save the Children Federation/US (SC) has implemented integrated nutrition programs targeting young children. We evaluated the effect of SC's nutrition program on the complementary food intake of young rural Vietnamese children. Using a longitudinal, prospective, randomized design, we followed 238 children (119 each from intervention and comparison communes) age 5 to 25 months old for six months with a re-survey at 12 months. We gathered 24-hour recall data at baseline and at months 2, 4, 6, and 12. Dietary energy intake was calculated using the 1972 Vietnamese food composition table. Key outcomes were daily frequency of consuming intervention-promoted food and non-breastmilk liquids and food, daily quantity of non-breastmilk liquids and food consumed, daily energy intake, and proportion of children meeting daily median energy requirements. Young rural children exposed to SC's program consumed intervention-promoted, and any, foods more frequently, ate a greater quantity of any food, consumed more energy, and were more likely to meet their daily energy requirements than comparison children. Some effects were only observed during the intensive intervention period; others persisted into or were evident only at the 12-month follow-up, approximately four months after program completion. Based on the mothers' reports, the intervention did not apparently compromise breastfeeding prevalence or frequency. The intervention improved children's food and energy intake and protected them from declining as rapidly as comparison children in meeting their energy requirements.