Effects of Pre- and Postnatal Nutrition Interventions on Child Growth and Body Composition The MINIMat Trial in Rural Bangladesh
Abstract: Nutritional insults and conditions in fetal life and infancy may influence later growth and body composition as well as the development of chronic diseases in adult life. We studied the effects of maternal food and micronutrient supplementation and exclusive breast-feeding counseling on offspring growth 0-54 months and body composition at 54 months of age. We also validated and developed equations for a leg-to-leg bioimpedance analyzer in order to assess body composition of Bangladeshi children aged 4-10 years.In the MINIMat trial in Matlab, Bangladesh, pregnant women were randomized to Early (around 9 weeks) or a Usual invitation (around 20 weeks) to food supplementation and to one of three daily micronutrient supplementations with capsules of either 30 mg Fe and 400 µg folic acid, or 60 mg Fe and 400 µg folic acid, or multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) (15 micronutrients including 30 mg Fe and 400 µg folic acid). They were also randomized to exclusive breastfeeding counseling (EBC) or to usual health messages (UHM). Growth of their children was measured from birth to 54 months, when body composition also was assessed.There were no differences in background characteristics across the different intervention groups. There was no differential effect by prenatal interventions on birth weight or length. Early invitation to food supplementation reduced stunting from early infancy up to 54 months for boys (average difference 6.5 percent units, 95% CI=1.7 to 11.3, p=0.01), but not for girls (average difference 2.4 percent units, 95% CI=-2.2 to 7.0, p=0.31). MMS resulted in more stunting than standard Fe60F (average difference 4.8 percent units, 95% CI=0.8 to 8.9, p=0.02). Breast-feeding counseling prolonged the duration of exclusive breastfeeding (difference 35.0 days, 95% CI 30.6-39.5, p<0.001). Neither the pregnancy interventions nor the breast-feeding counseling influenced body composition at 54 months.Early food supplementation in pregnancy reduced the occurrence of stunting in boys 0-54 months, while prenatal MMS increased the proportion of stunting. Early food and multiple micronutrient supplementation or exclusive breastfeeding intervention provided to rural Bangladeshi women during pregnancy did not affect offspring body composition at 54 months of age. The effects on postnatal growth suggest programming effects in early fetal life.
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