Specially formulated foods for treating children with moderate acute malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries.

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Moderate acute malnutrition, also called moderate wasting, affects around 10% of children under five years of age in low- and middle-income countries. There are different approaches to addressing malnutrition with prepared foods in these settings; for example, providing lipid-based nutrient supplements or blended foods, either a full daily Different types of blended foods - in one trial, CSB++ did not show any significant benefit over locally made blended food, for example, Misola, in number who recovered, number who died, or weight gain (moderate to high quality evidence). Improved adequacy of home diet - no study evaluated the impact of improving adequacy of local diet, such as local foods prepared at home according to a given recipe or of home processing of local foods (soaking, germination, malting, fermentation) in order to increase their nutritional content. In conclusion, there is moderate to high quality evidence that both lipid-based nutrient supplements and blended foods are effective in treating children with MAM. Although lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) led to a clinically significant benefit in the number of children recovered in comparison with blended foods, LNS did not reduce mortality, the risk of default or progression to SAM. It also induced more vomiting. Blended foods such as CSB++ may be equally effective and cheaper than LNS. Most of the research so far has focused on industrialised foods, and on short-term outcomes of MAM. There are no studies evaluating interventions to improve the quality of the home diet, an approach that should be evaluated in settings where food is available, and nutritional education and habits are the main determinants of malnutrition. There are no studies from Asia, where moderate acute malnutrition is most prevalent.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Cochrane database of systematic reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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