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