Objective: To compare the efficacy of locally-prepared ready-to-use therapeutic food (LRUTF) and locally-prepared F100 diet in promoting weight-gain in children with severe acute malnutrition during rehabilitation phase in hospital.
Study design: Non-randomized Controlled trial.
Setting: Pediatric ward of tertiary care public hospital in Central India.
Study period: 1 October, 2009 to 30th May, 2010.
Subjects: Children aged 6 to 60 months, diagnosed as severe acute malnutrition and hospitalized during study period.
Intervention: Random group allocation followed for selection of intervention and control cohorts. The control cohort enrolled during October 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010 received F100 while the intervention cohort enrolled during 1 February to 15 May 2010 received LRUTF. Subjects receiving either of the two therapeutic foods were temporally separated to minimize the spillover effect. The study subjects and the technician delegated for measuring weight was blinded for type of intervention.
Primary outcome variable: Rate of weight-gain/kg/day.
Results: There were 49 subjects in each group. Both groups were comparable. Rate of weight-gain was found to be (9.59 ± 3.39 g/kg/d) in LRUTF group and (5.41 ± 1.05 g/kg/d) in locally prepared F100 group. Significant difference in rate of weight gain was observed in LRUTF group (P<0.0001; 95% CI 3.17-5.19). No serious adverse effect was observed with use of LRUTF.
Conclusion: LRUTF promotes more rapid weight-gain when compared with F100 in patients with severe acute malnutrition during rehabilitation phase.