Meal Improves Iron Status of Childbearing Age Women and Prevents Stunting in Their Toddlers in Northern Ghana.
Nutrients. 2019 Jan 19 ;11(1). Epub 2019 Jan 19. PMID: 30669431
Clement Kubreziga Kubuga
Globally, iron deficiency (ID) is the most common form of nutritional deficiency, particularly in young children and childbearing age women. ID can lead to stunting and impaired cognitive development in children, as well as adverse maternal health and birth outcomes. In this study, the efficacy of an alternative food-to-food fortification utilizing indigenous iron-rich food sources was investigated in a quasi-experimental study. Childbearing age women (15⁻49 years, intervention-Kassena Nankana West district:= 60; control-Builsa North district:= 60) and their toddlers (6⁻24 months) consumedleaf meals (HSM, 1.71 mg Fe/100 g meal) three times a week for 12 weeks during the dry/lean season in Northern Ghana. We found that feeding the HSM (1.9 kg/day) improved iron status of women of childbearing age with time (= 0.011), and protected stunting among toddlers during the dry/lean season (= 0.024), which is the period with the worst food and nutrition insecurity. Compared with the control group, the number of stunted toddlers declined in the intervention group.