Evidence for CF Interventions (Nutritional Counseling and/or Food Supplementation Effects on Growth)
The risk of growth faltering among children in low- and middle-income countries is highest at ages 6–23 months. Complementary feeding (CF) interventions were among the most effective interventions for addressing child undernutrition in these countries. Therefore, caregivers should be able to access and properly prepare a variety of energy- and micronutrient-dense, developmentally appropriate foods in sufficient quantity and frequency depending on the age and breastfeeding status of the infant. Evidence on such interventions are primarily derived from meta-analyses. In this presentation, Dr Heidkamp focused on the overall effect of CF interventions (nutritional counseling ± food supplementation) on growth at 6–23 months. Data suggest CF interventions have a significant impact on growth in some populations. For education-only interventions, significant differences were only observed in food-secure populations, as these settings had more resources to implement CF interventions than food-insecure populations.