Caregiver behaviors and resources influence child height-for-age in rural Chad.
The purpose of this study was to identify caregiver characteristics that influence child nutritional status in rural Chad, when controlling for socioeconomic factors. Variables were classified according to the categories of a UNICEF model of care: caregiving behaviors, household food security, food and economic resources and resources for care and health resources. Sixty-four households with 98 children from ages 12 to 71 mo were part of this study. Caregivers were interviewed to collect information on number of pregnancies, child feeding and health practices, influence on decisions regarding child health and feeding, overall satisfaction with life, social support, workload, income, use of income, and household food expenditures and consumption. Household heads were questioned about household food production and other economic resources. Caregiver and household variables were classified as two sets of variables, and separate regression models were run for each of the two sets. Significant predictors of height-for-age were then combined in the same regression model. Caregiver influence on child-feeding decisions, level of satisfaction with life, willingness to seek advice during child illnesses, and the number of individuals available to assist with domestic tasks were the caregiver factors associated with children's height-for-age. Socioeconomic factors associated with children's height-for-age were the amount of harvested cereals, the sources of household income and the household being monogamous. When the caregiver and household socioeconomic factors were combined in the same model, they explained 54% of the variance in children's height-for-age, and their regression coefficients did not change or only slightly increased, except for caregiver's propensity to seek advice during child illnesses, which was no longer significant. These results indicate that caregiver characteristics influence children's nutritional status, even while controlling for the socioeconomic status of the household. (+info)
Enteropathogenic bacteria in faecal swabs of young children fed on lactic acid-fermented cereal gruels.
The influence of consumption of a lactic acid-fermented cereal gruel togwa with pH < or = 4 on the presence of faecal enteric bacteria such as campylobacter, enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC:O157), enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), salmonella and shigella was evaluated. Under 5 years old healthy children listed in an ascending order of age were alternatively assigned and given either a lactic-acid fermented cereal gruel togwa (test diet) or an unfermented cereal gruel uji (control diet) once a day for 13 consecutive days. The presence of the enteropathogens was examined in rectal swabs collected from the children at baseline (before feeding session started), on days 7 and 13, and additionally 14 days (follow-up day) after the feeding session had stopped. The swabs were cultured on to different optimal media for respective enteropathogen and confirmed by standard microbiological and serological methods. Campylobacter spp. dominated among the enteropathogens (62% out of total) followed by Salmonella spp., ETEC and Shigella spp. Children with isolated enteropathogens in the togwa group was significantly reduced (P < 0.001) from 27.6% at baseline to 7.8, 8.2 and 12.7% on days 7, 13 and follow-up day, respectively. The effect was more pronounced in those children taking togwa > 6 times during the study period. In the control group, there was a slight decrease from 16.7% at baseline to 11.4% on day 7 and 8.1% on day 13. On the follow-up day, enteropathogens were found in 22.6% of the children, which was significantly higher than in those children taking togwa > 6 times. We conclude, that regular consumption of togwa with pH < or = 4, once a day, three times a week may help to control intestinal colonization with potential diarrhoea-causing pathogens in young children. (+info)
Cost-effective treatment for severely malnourished children: what is the best approach?
In urban Bangladesh, 437 children with severe malnutrition aged 12-60 months were sequentially allocated to treat either as i) inpatients, ii) day care, or iii) domiciliary care after one week of day care. Average institutional cost (US$) to achieve 80% weight-for-height were respectively $156, $59 and $29/child. As a proportion of the overall costs, staff salaries were the largest component, followed by laboratory tests. Parental costs were highest for domiciliary care, as no food supplements were provided. Nevertheless it was the option most preferred by parents and when the institutional and parental costs were combined, domiciliary care was 1.6 times more cost-effective than day care, and 4.1 times more cost-effective than inpatient care. CONCLUSION: With careful training and an efficient referral system, domiciliary care preceded by one week of day care is the most cost-effective treatment option for severe malnutrition in this setting. (+info)
The Pathways study: a model for lowering the fat in school meals.
We describe the development and implementation of the Pathways school food service intervention during the feasibility phase of the Pathways study. The purpose of the intervention was to lower the amount of fat in school meals to 30% of energy to promote obesity prevention in third- through fifth-grade students. The Pathways nutrition staff and the food service intervention staff worked together to develop 5 interrelated components to implement the intervention. These components were nutrient guidelines, 8 skill-building behavioral guidelines, hands-on materials, twice yearly trainings, and monthly visits to the kitchens by the Pathways nutrition staff. The components were developed and implemented over 18 mo in a pilot intervention in 4 schools. The results of an initial process evaluation showed that 3 of the 4 schools had implemented 6 of the 8 behavioral guidelines. In an analysis of 5 d of school menus from 3 control schools, the lunch menus averaged from 34% to 40% of energy from fat; when the menus were analyzed by using the food preparation and serving methods in the behavioral guidelines, they averaged 31% of energy from total fat. This unique approach of 5 interrelated food service intervention components was accepted in the schools and is now being implemented in the full-scale phase of the Pathways study in 40 schools for 5 y. (+info)
The Narangwal Nutrition Study: a summary review.
Between April 1968 and May 1973 the department of International Health of The Johns Hopkins University carried out investigations into the interactions of malnutrition and infection and their effects on preschool child growth, morbidity and mortality in 10 villages of Punjab, North India. Base line surveys before the introduction of services revealed a high prevalence of malnutrition and undernutrition and infectious disease morbidity, as well as lack of accessibility, underutilization and poor population coverage of governmental health services. Study villages were selected in separate clusters and allocated to a control group and three service groups in which nutrition care and medical care were provided singly and in combination by auxiliary health workers resident in each village. Outcome effects were measured through means of longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys. Service inputs and service costs were similarly monitored. Results showed significant improvement of growth (weight and height) and hemoglobin levels of children. Perinatal mortality was reduced by nutrition supplementation to pregnant women. Medical care significantly reduced postneonatal and 1 to 3 mortality, and decreased illness duration of all six conditions examined in this paper. The auxiliary health worker capably managed more than 90% of health needs on her own and referred the rest safely to the physician. Analysis of cost per child death averted showed that cost-effectiveness declined with increasing age of the child. Prenatal nutrition care to pregnant women was most cost-effective in preventing perinatal deaths followed by medical care for infants, and then medical care for the 1 to 3 year age group. The relevance of the field research to national or international endeavors to solve present health problems of developing nations and the timeliness of projects such as the Narangwal Nutrition Study is also evaluated. (+info)
Feeding problems in merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy.
Feeding difficulties were assessed in 14 children (age range 2-14 years) with merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy, a disease characterised by severe muscle weakness and inability to achieve independent ambulation. Twelve of the 14 children were below the 3rd centile for weight. On questioning, all parents thought their child had difficulty chewing, 12 families modified the diet, and 13 children took at least 30 minutes to complete a meal. On examination the mouth architecture was abnormal in 13 children. On videofluoroscopy only the youngest child (2 years old), had a normal study. The others all had an abnormal oral phase (breakdown and manipulation of food and transfer to oropharynx). Nine had an abnormal pharyngeal phase, with a delayed swallow reflex. Three of these also showed pooling of food in the larynx and three showed frank aspiration. These six cases all had a history of recurrent chest infections. Six of eight children who had pH monitoring also had gastro-oesophageal reflux. As a result of the study five children had a gastrostomy, which stopped the chest infections and improved weight gain. This study shows that children with merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy have difficulties at all stages of feeding that progress with age. Appropriate intervention can improve weight gain and reduce chest infections. The severity of the problem has not been previously appreciated in this disease, and the study shows the importance of considering the nutritional status in any child with a primary muscle disorder. (+info)
Preparing for the next round: convalescent care after acute infection.
Infections pose a nutritional stress on the growing child. No therapeutic goal is as important as the rapid recovery of preillness weight after acute infections. Successful convalescence, with supernormal growth rates, can be achieved with relatively brief periods of intensive refeeding, offsetting any tendency toward reduced immune defenses or other nutritionally determined susceptibilities to further infection. Since the mother is the only person who can effectively manage convalescent care, she must be given specific tasks with measurable targets in order to reliably oversee the child's rehabilitation. Not generally considered in the realm of preventive medicine, effective home-based convalencent care is the first crucial step in preventing the next round of illness. An approach to the widespread mobilization of mothers to monitor and sustain their children's growth is proposed in this paper. Rather than a passive recipient of health services, the mother becomes the basic health worker, providing diagnostic and therapeutic primary care for her child. Only the mother can break the malnutrition-infection cycle. (+info)
Peritoneal transport properties and dialysis dose affect growth and nutritional status in children on chronic peritoneal dialysis. Mid-European Pediatric Peritoneal Dialysis Study Group.
To evaluate a possible effect of peritoneal transport properties and dialysis dose on the physical development of children on chronic peritoneal dialysis, a cohort of 51 children was prospectively followed for 18 mo. Peritoneal transport characteristics were assessed by serial peritoneal equilibration tests (PET), dialysis efficacy by dialysate and residual renal clearance measurements, and growth and nutritional status by the longitudinal changes (delta) of height SD score (SDS), body mass index (BMI) SDS, and serum albumin. delta height SDS was negatively correlated with the creatinine equilibration rate observed in the initial PET (r = -0.31, P < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis confirmed the negative effect of the high transporter state (partial r2 = 0.07), and disclosed an additional positive effect of dialytic C(Cr) (partial r2 = 0.11) and a weak negative effect of daily dialysate volume (partial r2 = 0.04) on delta height SDS. delta BMI SDS was strongly age-dependent (r = -0.48, P < 0.001); while relative body mass gradually increased below 4 yr of age, it remained stable in older children. Positive changes in BMI SDS were associated with rapid PET creatinine equilibration rates (univariate r = 0.35, P < 0.05) and/or large dialysate volumes (multivariate partial r2 = 0.11), suggesting a role of dialytic glucose uptake in the development of obesity. The change in serum albumin concentrations was positively correlated with dialysate volume (partial r2 = 0.14), and negatively affected by dialytic protein losses (partial r2 = 0.06). In conclusion, the peritoneal transporter state is a weak but significant determinant of growth and body mass gain in children on chronic peritoneal dialysis. Rapid small solute equilibration contributes to impaired growth but enhanced acquisition of body mass. Dialytic small solute clearance has a weak positive effect on statural growth independent of the transporter state, but does not affect body mass gain. (+info)