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Ready to Use Therapeutic Food in the Rehabilitation of Severely Malnourished Children

08:22 EDT 19th April 2014 | BioPortfolio

Summary

Severe malnutrition is a major cause of child morbidity and mortality in developing countries especially sub-Saharan Africa. The hospital mortality rate due to severe malnutrition in developing countries ranges from 20-30%. For the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a liquid milk-based diet, Formula 100 (F100), which contains 100 kilocalories per 100 milliliters. In Uganda, the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children is based on High Energy Milk (HEM), which is reconstituted cows milk with a nutritional composition similar to F100. Recently a semi-solid ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) with similar composition as F100 or HEM has been designed. This preparation can be eaten without adding water hence reducing the risk of bacterial contamination. The preparation can be used at home with minimal supervision. Hitherto the efficacy of RUTF in the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children in Uganda has not been studied. The purpose of this study is to determine whether giving daily RUTF in the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children will result in a higher weight gain than giving HEM.

Description

Severe malnutrition is a major cause of child morbidity and mortality in developing countries especially sub-Saharan Africa. The hospital case fatality rate of severely malnourished children in developing countries ranges from 20 to 30%. In Uganda the prevalence of malnutrition remains high: among children below 5 years, 39% are stunted, 4% are wasted and 23% are under weight. For the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children, the World Health Organization recommends a liquid milk-based diet, formula 100 (F100) which contains 100 kilocalories per 100 milliliters. F100 is prepared by mixing dried skimmed milk, oil, sugar and mineral vitamin mix. It provides 100 kilocalories of energy and contains 2.9 grams of protein per 100 milliliters. In Uganda the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children is based on High Energy Milk (HEM) which is reconstituted cows’ milk with nutritional composition similar to F100.

Recently a semi-solid ready- to- use therapeutic food (RUTF) whose nutrition composition is similar to F100 or HEM has been designed. It is prepared by mixing full cream powder, icing sugar, ground nut paste, vegetable oil and mineral vitamin mix. RUTF contains 545 kilocalories per 100 grams of which 10% are protein calories and 59% lipid calories. This preparation can be eaten without adding water hence reducing the risk of bacterial contamination and it can be used at home with minimum supervision. RUTF has energy density of more than 5 times that of milk-based feeds. Hitherto the efficacy of RUTF in the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children in Uganda has not been studied. The purpose of this study is to determine whether giving daily RUTF in the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children results in a higher weight gain than giving HEM.

Hypothesis: Giving 5 meals of RUTF daily in the rehabilitation of severely malnourished children will result in a higher mean weight gain (>10g/kg/day) than giving 5 meals of HEM daily.

The researchers calculated the minimum sample size of 64 patients in each group for 90% power and 95% confidence. In the calculation the researchers assumed that the mean weight gain in the control (HEM) group would be 10.1 g/kg/day with standard deviation of 4.4g according to results of a study by Diop in Senegal; and assumed that the mean weight gain in the RUTF group would be 12.63g/kg/day (25.05% effect size)

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Conditions

Malnutrition

Intervention

ready-to-use therapeutic food

Location

Centre for International Health University of Bergen
Bergen
Norway
NO-5021

Status

Active, not recruiting

Source

Makerere University

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Functions, equipment, and facilities concerned with the preparation and distribution of ready-to-eat food.

Prepared food that is ready to eat or partially prepared food that has a final preparation time of a few minutes or less.

The presence of parasites in food and food products. For the presence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in food, FOOD MICROBIOLOGY is available.

Any food that has been supplemented with essential nutrients either in quantities that are greater than those present normally, or which are not present in the fortified food. The supplementation of cereals with iron and vitamins is an example of fortified food. Fortified food includes also enriched food to which various nutrients have been added to compensate for those essential nutrients removed by refinement or processing. (From Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)

The sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of FOOD. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. PLANTS, which convert SOLAR ENERGY to food by PHOTOSYNTHESIS, are the primary food source. In a predator chain, a plant-eating animal is eaten by a larger animal. In a parasite chain, a smaller organism consumes part of a larger host and may itself be parasitized by smaller organisms. In a saprophytic chain, microorganisms live on dead organic matter.

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