Clinical study demonstrates impact of nutrition intervention on healthy growth and dietary diversity of children

22:14 | 11/03/2017 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Conclusive evidence shows that poor nutrition in the early years has a physical and psychological impact that can cause stunting, underweight, micronutrient deficiency, which may have long term impacts.

clinical study demonstrates impact of nutrition intervention on healthy growth and dietary diversity of children

March 11, at a symposium named “Evidence-based Nutrition Solutions for Healthy Growth and Dietary Diversity in Children with Growth Issues” hosted by the Vietnam Pediatric Association in cooperation with the global healthcare company Abbott, international and Vietnamese pediatric nutrition experts discuss findings of clinical study showing that long-term use of oral nutrition supplement impacts nutritional adequacy, dietary diversity, reduce children’s number of sick days and longitudinal growth of children at risk of undernourishment.

International and Vietnamese pediatric nutrition experts share findings of a clinical study showing that long-term use of oral nutritional supplement helps children at risk of undernourishment catch up growth after 9 weeks; impacts nutritional adequacy, dietary diversity, health outcomes and longitudinal growth.

clinical study demonstrates impact of nutrition intervention on healthy growth and dietary diversity of children
Prof. PhD. MD. Nguyen Gia Khanh, President of Vietnam Pediatric Association

Prof. PhD. MD. Nguyen Gia Khanh, President of Vietnam Pediatric Association, underscored: “Parents should detect any nutrition issues or abnormal growth of children and talk with doctors to start nutritional intervention if necessary. Timely nutritional intervention can address the immediate causes of under-nutrition, like inadequate dietary intake and some of the underlying causes like children access to food.”

Prof. Marion Margaret AW, Department of Pediatrics, National University of Singapore, said: “Children in the early years of life grow at very rapid rates. Eating a varied and well balanced diet is critical during this period, as consuming a wide range of food groups provides essential vitamins, minerals and other critical nutritional elements that kids need for healthy growth and development.”

Experts, at the symposium, consider how findings from the clinical study “Impact of long-term use of oral nutrition supplement on nutritional adequacy, dietary diversity, health outcomes and longitudinal growth of children at risk of undernourishment” published on the credible scientific journals, namely Journal of Nutritional Science and Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, can help Vietnamese children to have healthy growth.

This is a 48-week intervention study, conducted in 199 children ages 3-4 years between the 5th and 25th percentile for weight-for-height (WHO standards) with measurements at 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, and 48 weeks. These children received 450 kcal oral nutrition supplement (ONS) daily and dietary counseling at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks. The counseling provided guidelines about food groups, appropriate portion sizes, limiting high-sugar foods, and positive eating environments. Oral nutrition supplementation used in the study is PediaSure, a supplement designed and produced by Abbott Nutrition.

clinical study demonstrates impact of nutrition intervention on healthy growth and dietary diversity of children
PhD. Li Fei, R&D Department, APAC Abbott Nutrition

Researchers found that the children caught-up growth after the first 9 weeks of the intervention and after the first 16 weeks, their dietary diversity score increased and number of sick days reduced. After 48-week, intervention consisting of initial dietary counselling and continued ONS helped sustain normal growth after a catch-up growth in nutritionally at-risk children. Moreover, a combination of initial dietary counseling and ONS was associated with an increased consumption of a greater variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich items.

PhD. Li Fei, R&D Department, APAC Abbott Nutrition, highlighted the findings: “Long-term use of oral nutrition supplement, such as PediaSure, helps promote dietary diversity, fills nutritional gaps and improve overall nutrition status in children at risk of undernourishment. It increases the intake of energy and key nutrients for growth, especially the key nutrients that are found deficient in many Asian children, such as calcium, iron, vitamin A and C. Meanwhile, long-term use of PediaSure does not lead to excessive weight gain and has no negative impact on the consumption of regular family foods.”