News article

Impact of oral nutritional supplement (ONS) in Filipino children at risk of undernutrition

Posted:  Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Influence of long term nutritional intervention in Filipino children at risk of undernutrition

Infants and children require sufficient energy, macro and micronutrient for proper physical and mental development. However, reports indicate that diets consumed by Filipino children are insufficient in proteins, energy and vitamins. Furthermore, frequent consumption of cereals and legumes may lower absorption of vitamin A, zinc and iron due to the presence of anti-nutrients. In such cases, intake of oral nutritional supplements (ONS) and fortified foods is recommended to provide the deficient nutrients.

A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science looked at 199 healthy Filipino children aged 36 - 48 months who were at risk of undernutrition. Undernutrition results due to insufficient intake of food and recurring infectious diseases. Parents were advised to provide the children with two servings of ONS (450 ml) daily for 48 weeks. They were also advised on including variety of foods contributing to good quality protein, vegetable fat and dietary fiber. Measurements such as compliance with ONS consumption, height, weight, and dietary intakes using 24-h food recalls at weeks 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, 40 and 48 were taken. Dietary diversity score (DDS) and Nutrient adequacy were also calculated.

Intervention led to an improvement in weight for height (WHP) percentile and height for age percentile (HAP) in children. Parental education was associated with gain in HAP of children. Parental employment, total energy intake and male child were associated with grain in WHP in children. Intakes of energy, proteins, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A and C increased throughout the study period. The number of children consuming fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, and eggs were significantly higher.

Intervention of ONS improved nutritional status and food diversity in children who were nutritionally at risk. The study supports supplementing multiple nutrients instead of single nutrient in meeting the increased nutritional requirements of growing children and preventing as well as improving wasting and stunting in children at risk of undernutrition.

News Source - Huynh DT, Estorninos E, Capeding MR, Oliver JS, Low YL, Rosales FJ. Impact of long-term use of oral nutritional supplement on nutritional adequacy, dietary diversity, food intake and growth of Filipino preschool children. Journal of Nutritional Science. 2016; 5.