Open Access Efficacy of fortification of school meals with ferrous glycine phosphate and riboflavin against anemia and angular stomatitis in schoolchildren

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Objective. Multiple micronutrient deficiencies exist in many developing countries. We conducted a study to test the efficacy of ferrous glycine phosphate in reducing anemia and of riboflavin in reducing angular stomatitis when these micronutrients were added to the noon meal for schoolchildren.

Methods. A pre- and post-test design was used to study children 5 to 9 years of age, with an experimental and a control group. Two schools in the same locality in Chennai were chosen for the study. The experimental school had 65 children and the control school had 71 children, all of whom consumed a noon meal at the school daily. The children in the experimental school received a powder containing ferrous glycine phosphate and riboflavin, which was added to the meal during cooking every day for 6 months. The dosage was 28 mg of elemental iron and 1 mg of riboflavin per child per day. The children attended school for 5 days each week from Monday to Friday, except for holidays; they received the fortificants on 100 days during the 6-month period. There was no intervention in the control school. Children in the experimental and control groups were matched by socioeconomic status, age, and eating habits at baseline. All the children in the experimental and control schools were dewormed at baseline and at endline after 6 months. Hemoglobin was measured by the cynamethemoglobin method at baseline and endline.

Results. Binary logistic regression showed a significant (p < .001) time x group interaction for anemia. The prevalence of anemia in the experimental school was 69.0% at baseline and 32.8% after 100 days of intervention over 6 months, a statistically significant change (p < .001). The prevalence of anemia in the control school was 91.5% at baseline and increased to 97.2% at endline; the increase was not statistically significant. The prevalence of angular stomatitis was reduced from 21% at baseline to 0% at endline in the experimental school, whereas it was 23% at baseline and 20% at endline in the control school.

Conclusions. The added fortificants reduced the prevalence of the micronutrient deficiencies.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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  • 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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