Age-related differences in height gain with dairy protein and micronutrient supplements in Indian primary school children

Authors : Thomas T, Singh M, Swaminathan S, Kurpad AV

Publication Year : 2020

Abstract :

The efficacy of nutrient interventions to prevent/reverse stunting is considered to be restricted to early life. Whether such interventions are equally effective in later childhood is not clear. The present study evaluated the effect of a food-based high-quality protein and micronutrient intervention on the linear growth of Indian primary school children.

A secondary analysis of a one-year milkprotein and micronutrient fortified food product intervention (protein-energy ratio: 12.8%) on the height of 550 children aged 6-10 years, of poor-socioeconomic background, was carried out. Height and weight increments were compared between groups of each year of age using multiple linear regression. Comparisons in prevalence of stunting and underweight between these groups was also made.

The overall mean height increment at the end of 1-year was 6.10±1.07 cm, the highest being for 6-year olds (6.38±0.84 cm). The mean height increments in 6, 7 and 8-year-olds were significantly higher (all p<0>

Food supplements containing high-quality protein (like milk) along with micronutrients, can continue to influence height of children even in primary school, although the most effect is seen in younger children.