News article

Compliance to Home-based Fortification Strategies for Delivery of Iron and Zinc in Children

Posted:  Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Compliance to Home-based Fortification Strategies for Delivery of Iron and Zinc Improves Haematological Markers in Children

Recent evidence indicated that iron and zinc deficiencies are a major reason behind morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases in children in developing countries. Compliance is a vital factor in successful enactment of the delivery of micronutrients among children.

A study published in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition assessed children’s compliance to two home-based food fortification strategies (fortified complementary food or sprinkle) for providing iron and zinc. Overall, 292 children (aged 6–24 months) were randomised to receive rice-based fortified complementary food and nutrition education (Cf=101), sprinkle and nutrition education (Mp=97), or nutrition education alone as control (Ed=94). At the beginning of the study, all children were breastfed and parents were advised to continue breastfeeding. Information on compliance and anthropometry were collected once every two weeks. At baseline and end of the study, complete haemogram estimation was conducted.

Children’s compliance to the fortified complementary food was higher than sprinkle and nutrition education. In the intervention group, ingestion of fortified complementary foods for 6 months contributed to a substantial increase in mean haemoglobin levels than in the control group.

The findings suggested that compliance to fortified complementary foods was higher among children. Therefore, fortified complementary foods can serve as a suitable delivery mechanism for iron and zinc in preschool children.

News source - Sazawal S, Dhingra P, Dhungra U et al. Compliance with Home-based Fortification Strategies for Delivery of Iron and Zinc: Its Effect on Haematological and Growth Markers among 6-24 months Old Children in North India. J Health Popul Nutr. 2014 Jun; 32(2): 217–226.