The benefits of nutritional supplementation, with or without psychosocial stimulation, on the growth of stunted children were evaluated. Children aged 9-24 mo with lengths < -2 SD of the National Center for Health Statistics references (n = 129) were randomly assigned to four groups: control, nutritional supplementation, stimulation, and both interventions. A fifth group with lengths > -1 SD was also enrolled. Length, weight, head and arm circumferences, and triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses were measured on enrollment and 6 and 12 mo later. Multiple-regression analysis was used to determine the effects of the interventions in which age, sex, initial status, initial dietary intake, and several socioeconomic variables were controlled for. Stimulation had no effect on growth and there was no interaction between the interventions. After 12 mo supplemented children had significantly increased length, weight, and head circumference (all P < 0.01). The effects of supplementation were not cumulative but occurred in the first 6 mo.
- Nutritional supplementation