A daily food supplement fortified with micronutrients improved growth rates and reduced anaemia rates in a population of low-income children living in rural Mexico, according to data from a study appearing in the latest issue of JAMA.
According to the study, children and pregnant and lactating women in participating households received fortified nutrition supplements, and the families received nutrition education, health care, and cash transfers as part of a large-scale incentive based program called 'Progresa'.
The researchers analysed the effects of the nutritional supplement on 2-year height increments and anaemia rates, as measured by blood haemoglobin levels in 650 children in the program with 373 children receiving the daily nutritional supplement for 2 years while the crossover group of 277 children did not receive the supplement until the second year of the study.
The authros concluded that the Progresa program, which included nutritional intervention was associated with better growth and lower rates of anemia in low-income, rural infants and children in Mexico.
JAMA, Vol. 291 No. 21, June 2, 2004