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Published on Nov 25, 2015
Health Evidence hosted a 90 minute webinar examining the effectiveness of food supplementation programmes for improving the physical and psychosocial health of socio-economically disadvantaged children.
Dr. Elizabeth Kristjansson, Professor, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, led the session and presented findings from her latest Cochrane review:
Kristjansson E., Francis D.K., Liberato S., Benkhalti J.M., Welch V., Batal M., et al. (2015). Food supplementation for improving the physical and psychosocial health of socio‐economically disadvantaged children aged three months to five years. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,2015(2), Art. No.: CD009924
Undernutrition has contributed to the deaths of more than three million children in 2011. Evidence about the effectiveness of food supplementation interventions for young children is fundamentally important for governments, funding agencies, and children themselves. This review examines the effectiveness of supplementary food programmes for improving the health of disadvantaged children. 32 (21 RCTs and 11 CBAs) studies from mostly low- and middle- income countries are included in this review. In low- and middle-income countries, providing additional food to children aged three months to five years led to small gains in weight (0.24kg/year in RCTs and CBAs) and height (0.54cm/year in RCTs only), and moderate increases in haemoglobin. This webinar highlighted factors that contribute to the effectiveness of child supplementation programmes as well as implications for practice.