Evaluative Studies on the Impact of an Extruded Soy-Cocoa Based Complementary Diet on Growth of the Undernourished Child

Gibson Lucky Arueya, Oyediran Emmanuel Oyewole, Oluwatooyin Faramade Osundahunsi


Undernutrition among children under five remains widespread culminating predominantly in linear growth deficits (? -2SD Units) with its attendant setbacks. Food-based interventions aimed at completely reversing this phenomenon have not had significant impact. Exploring novel dietary interventions has therefore become necessary.

A standard centrally processed food (soyflour + cocoa + corn starch) was subjected to efficacy trial. Using a pretest-posttest controlled experimental design, the impact of the diet was determined on 30 (randomly selected) undernourished children (aged 6-24 months) at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Clinic, Oni Memorial children’s Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. Anthropometric, Biochemical and haematological measurements were conducted over a two month duration including follow-up observations according to standard methods.

Results of mean values (cm/month) of linear growth velocity observed for intervention (2.59 ± 2.2) was higher and significantly different from control (0.94 ± 0.08) (p ? 0.05). Elimination of linear growth deficits (? - 2SD units) was successful in 75% and 30% of test subjects aged 6-12 months and 12-24 months respectively using WHO (2006) child growth standard as reference. These outcomes were at variance from the control (p ? 0.05) where deficits persisted. Serum Albumin normalized, having risen by 21.8% in the intervention from 35.5 g/L but contrasted sharply with control’s 4.4% rise from 33.9g/L. Haemoglobin values attained 6.96 mmol/L (Intervention) and 6.14 mmol/L (control) following a similar trend.

The impact of an extruded soy-cocoa based complementary diet has been evaluated and found to be effective in reducing linear growth deficits in children under age two especially those between 6-12 months. Its use for Nutrition rehabilitation is recommended.


undernutrition, child, soy-cocoa, complementary food, linear-growth-deficit

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v3n2p43


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