Effectiveness of an educational intervention on complementary feeding practices and growth in rural China: a cluster randomised controlled trial

Ling Shi, Jingxu Zhang, Yan Wang, Laura E Caulfield, Bernard Guyer
2009 Public Health Nutrition  
Objective: Inappropriate complementary feeding is one of the major causes of malnutrition in young children in developing countries. We developed an educational intervention, delivered by local health-care providers, aimed at improving complementary feeding practices and child nutrition. Design: Eight townships in Laishui, a rural area in China, were randomly assigned to the educational intervention or control group. A total of 599 healthy infants were enrolled at age 2-4 months and followed up
more » ... ths and followed up until 1 year of age. In the intervention group, educational messages and enhanced home-prepared recipes were disseminated to caregivers through group trainings and home visits. Questionnaire surveys and anthropometric measurements were taken at baseline and ages 6, 9 and 12 months. Analysis was by intention to treat. Results: It was found that food diversity, meal frequency and hygiene practices were improved in the intervention group. Infants in the intervention group gained 0?22 kg more weight (95 % CI 0?003, 0?45 kg, P 5 0?047) and gained 0?66 cm more length (95 % CI 0?03, 1?29 cm, P 5 0?04) than did controls over the study period. Conclusions: Findings from the study suggest that an educational intervention delivered through local health-care providers can lead to substantial behavioural changes of caregivers and improve infant growth.
doi:10.1017/s1368980009991364 pmid:19706219 fatcat:j3pqu2ei5bdj5ks2fyyobix74e