An Intervention Package Including Egg and Milk-Based Snack Improved Growth and Development of U-2 Children in Bangladesh: A Community-Based Randomized Controlled Trial

Gulshan Ara, Kazi Istiaque Sanin, Mansura Khanam, Md. Shafiqul Alam Sarker, Fahmida Tofail, Imran Ahmed Chowdhury, Kaosar Afsana, Sarah Gibson, Sufia Askari, Tahmeed Ahmed
2021 Current Developments in Nutrition  
Objectives We aimed to compare the effect of a comprehensive intervention package focusing on the animal-source protein (egg and milk)-based snack in conjunction with feeding counseling, water sanitation and hygiene, and supplementation with multiple micronutrient powder on linear growth and development of 6‒12-month old children in rural Bangladesh. Primary and secondary outcomes were differences in length-for-age Z score and cognitive development. Methods A community-based cluster randomized
more » ... ontrolled longitudinal trial included 412 mother-infant pairs from 13 unions (small-administrative-unit) of Harirampur sub-district, allocating to receive treatment (n = 206) or regular health messages (n = 206) as control. The treatment group received monthly food vouchers (30 eggs, 12 L milk, 500 g semolina, 500 mL oil, 500 g sugar) to prepare nutritious children's snacks, micronutrient powder, child feeding and handwashing counseling for 12 months. The Control group received routine health messages from the government. Anthropometry, feeding and morbidity data were collected at baseline, monthly and endpoint. Children's development was assessed only once at an endpoint using Extended Ages and Stages Questionnaire (EASQ), Bayley III and Wolke's behavior rating scales. We used generalized linear regression modelling to conduct intention to treat analysis. Results Children's mean weight and length were similar between groups at baseline. At endpoint, compared to the control, treatment children had higher mean length (83.52 and 80.89 cm; difference: 2.62, P < 0.001); higher LAZ score (β: 0.38, CI: 0.24, 0.51); 61% lower rate of stunting (IRR: 0.39, CI: 0.22, 0.67); higher cognitive (β: 4.01, CI: 2.08, 5.94), language (β: 2.94, CI: 0.94, 4.94) and motor (β: 4.53, CI: 1.87, 7.20) scores, all being statistically significant. The intervention also improved developmental EASQ outcomes of the treatment children (gross and fine motor, problem-solving, and socio-emotional scores). Conclusions A comprehensive intervention package focusing on egg and milk-based snacks improved child growth and development in poor households in Bangladesh. Reducing the intervention cost and scale-up to larger communities in resource-poor settings merit further research. Funding Sources Children Investment Fund Foundation funded the trial.
doi:10.1093/cdn/nzab035_007 fatcat:3ja64aujlvdvpjem5yweui4ph4