Effect of Nutrition Intervention on Indices of Growth in Day Care Centers of the city of Birjand, Iran
Nutrition Intervention in Day Care Centers
Background: Childhood malnutrition is the main risk factor for impaired mental and physical growth and several diseases and leads to premature death worldwide. Therefore, reducing childhood malnutrition is a top priority in most countries. In this regard, several studies have explored the effects of nutritional intervention on reducing childhood malnutrition, although mostly in controlled conditions and with small sample sizes; data on community-based interventions are limited. In this study we investigated the effects of a nutritional intervention on the growth of children in day-care centers in rural areas of the city of Birjand, Iran, the intervention being offering warm food at lunch-time.
Subjects and Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study. Warm food was offered for a period of 6 months to all the children (n=1809) in rural day care centers of Birjand. Height and weight of the children were measured before and after the intervention. Z-score indicators were estimated using WHO Software as Anthro and Anthro plus. SPSS Software was used for data analyses.
Results: Prevalence of wasting and stunting decreased after the intervention in both sexes. The decrease in stunting prevalence was significantly higher in boys than in girls. However, the rate of height for age Z-score (HAZ) did not change significantly in either sex. In both sexes, weight, height, body mass index, and weight for age improved significantly after the intervention. Prevalence of obesity and overweight did not change after the intervention.
Conclusion: Based on the findings, offering warm food at lunch-time in day-care centers can reduce wasting and stunting in children in rural regions of Birjand, Iran.
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