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Malnourished African Children Did Not Gain Weight After Eating Food Supplement

September 17, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
African children suffering from malnutrition did not gain weight after eating energy-dense food supplements, but did show other benefits, according to a study conducted by an international non-governmental organization with Belgian and French researchers. The study investigated the effect of daily doses of a lipid-based nutrient product known as Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF) on 519 children aged 6 to 36 months in Abeche, Chad, a city experiencing food shortages. The addition of RUSF to the household food rations had little effect on weight. But, compared to the 519 children in the control group, those in the RUSF group had a greater gain in height-for-age, slightly higher hemoglobin levels, and lower rates of diarrhea and fever, as reported by the child's parents.
Lieven Huybregts et al., "The Effect of Adding Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food to a General Food Distribution on Child Nutritional Status and Morbidity", PLoS Medicine, September 17, 2012, © Huybregts et al.
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