Open Access Increased food intake after the addition of amylase-rich flour to supplementary food for malnourished children in rural communities of Bangladesh

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Background. In Bangladesh, as in other developing countries, protein–energy malnutrition is most prevalent among children during weaning. After weaning, children are often fed cereal-based diluted low-calorie porridge, resulting in growth-faltering.

Objective. To assess the effect on food intake of adding amylase-rich flour (ARF) from germinated wheat to supplementary food among children in nine rural Community Nutrition Centers under the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project (BINP).

Methods. A total of 166 malnourished children of either sex, aged 6 to 24 months, received one of three diets randomly allocated to the Community Nutrition Centers. The composition of the diets was the same; however, the consistency and calorie density were altered by adding either ARF or water. Thirty-five children received the standard supplementary food of the BINP (S-SF), 65 received supplementary food with added ARF (ARF-SF), and 66 received supplementary food with added water (W-SF). The children were studied for six weeks.

Results. The mean ± SD intake of supplementary food from a single meal by children completing six weeks on the diets was higher for children receiving ARF-SF (33.91 ± 8.25 g) than for those receiving S-SF (25.66 ± 6.73 g) or W-SF (30.26 ± 8.39 g) (p < .05 for both comparisons). The weight of vomited food was significantly higher for children receiving W-SF than for children in the other two groups. Weight gain and increments in length and weight-for-height were higher for children who received ARF-SF than for children in the other two groups, but the differences were not statistically significant. The acceptability of ARF-SF was higher than that of the two other diets. The additional cost of adding 2 g of ARF to the diet was about Taka 0.25 (US$1 = Taka 48).

Conclusions. Addition of ARF to existing standard supplementary food, as used under the BINP program, is a simple and effective means to increase the intake of food by changing its consistency, thus making it easier for malnourished children to ingest.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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