Providing energy dense food supplements within a general household food distribution has little effect on the weight of children at risk of malnutrition
Giving energy dense food supplements— Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF), a lipid-based nutrient supplement—to young children in addition to a general food distribution in a country with food shortages (Chad) did not reduce levels of wasting (low weight for height, a sign of acute undernutrition) but slightly increased their height and haemoglobin levels according to a study conducted by the international non-governmental organization Action Against Hunger-France (ACF-France) in collaboration with European researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.
In emergency situations, international aid organizations support affected populations by distributing food and sometimes by also providing nutritional supplements such as RUSF, to children at risk of malnutrition. In a cluster randomized controlled trial, researchers from Belgium and France, led by Lieven Huybregts from Ghent University in Belgium, investigated the effect of a targeted daily dose of RUSF in 6
More information: Huybregts L, Houngbe´ F, Salpe´teur C, Brown R, Roberfroid D, et al. (2012) The Effect of Adding Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food to a General Food Distribution on Child Nutritional Status and Morbidity: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS Med 9(9): e1001313. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001313
Perspective article: Dewey KG, Arimond M (2012) Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements: How Can They Combat Child Malnutrition? PLoS Med 9(9): e1001314. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001314