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Open Access Effects of biscuit-type feeding supplementation on the neurocognitive outcomes of HIV-affected school-age children: a randomized, double-blind, controlled intervention trial in Kenya

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Objective: To determine if meat or soy protein dietary supplementation will enhance the neurocognitive performance of HIV-affected children at-risk of malnutrition and food insecurity.

Methods: A randomized, double-blind, controlled intervention trial evaluated the effect of nutritional supplementation on the neurocognitive outcomes of 49 HIV-affected school-age children in western Kenya. The intervention consisted in providing the mother, target child, and siblings with one of three isocaloric biscuit-type supplements ‐ soy, wheat, or beef ‐ on 5 days per week for 18 months. Neurocognitive outcomes of the target children were assessed by a battery of eight measures and followed up longitudinally for up to 24 months.

Results: Mixed effects modeling demonstrated significant differences in the rates of increase over time among all three groups (F test degrees of freedom of 2, P<0.05) for Raven’s progressive matrices performance, but not for verbal meaning, arithmetic, digit span backward, forward, and total, embedded figure test, and Beery visual‐motor integration scores.

Conclusion: HIV-affected school-age children provided with soy protein supplementation showed greater improvement in nonverbal cognitive (fluid intelligence) performance compared with peers who received isocaloric beef or wheat biscuits. Soy nutrients may have an enhancing effect on neurocognitive skills in HIV-affected school-age children.
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Keywords: Africa; HIV; Neurocognition; animal source foods; malnutrition; meat; neurodevelopment; nutrition; proteins; soy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2017

This article was made available online on July 18, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Effects of biscuit-type feeding supplementation on the neurocognitive outcomes of HIV-affected school-age children: a randomized, double-blind, controlled intervention trial in Kenya".

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press

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