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Title: Development and testing of the effects of new complementary feeding guidelines, with an emphasis on red meat consumption, on iron and zinc status and growth in infants living in Bogota, Colombia
Author: Olaya Vega, G.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Background: Infants living in poor socioeconomic conditions in Bogota, Colombia frequently receive unsuitable complementary foods (CFs) and are at risk of iron deficiency and poor linear growth. New complementary feeding guidelines (NCFg) emphasizing red meat as a source of iron and zinc were developed for this population. Objective: To test the hypothesis that the NCFg would improve infant iron and zinc status and growth. Methods: 85 infants exclusively breastfed for ≥4mo were randomly assigned at 6mo to control group (CG; current CF advice) or intervention group (NGG; counseling including advice to offer red meat ≥3days/week). Continued breastfeeding was recommended alongside CF. Main outcomes were (i) haemoglobin (Hb), haematocrit (Hct), iron (serum ferritin (SF) and zinc status at 12months and (ii) growth from 6-12mo. Results: 85 infants were randomised (43 CG, 42 NGG). NGG infants had significantly higher red meat intake (eg. 5.4 (SD1.8) versus 3.5 (1.7) days/week at 12mo, p<0.001); significantly higher Hb (12.48g/dL (0.7) versus 11.96g/dL (0.9), p=0.009), Hct (36.6% (1.9) versus 35.5% (2.1), p=0.02) at 12 months, and greater change in Hb (0.4 (0.8) versus -0.13 (1.0) p<0.01) and Hct (1.04 (2.2) versus -0.15 (2.4), p=0.03) from 6-12 months. Red meat consumption was positively related to iron status. SF decreased and zinc increased in both groups but was not significantly different between groups at 12mo. Proportions of infants with anaemia, iron deficiency, and iron depletion were influenced by definition and cut-offs used, and by adjustment for altitude. There were no significant differences in linear growth from 6 to 12 months. Conclusions: The new CF guidelines were acceptable and showed efficacy in this population, with increase in red meat consumption and positive effects on Hb and Hct. The results also highlight the need to clarify and define cut-offs for evaluating iron status in infants.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available