Background: Low-birth-weight children are known to be at risk of both anemia and cognitive/language deficits in their early years.
Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of a 22-element multiple micronutrient powder (MNP) on the cognitive and language development of full-term low-birth-weight (LBW-T) children in Bangladesh.
Methods: The current study was a follow-up of children who were enrolled in a randomized cluster trial at 7-12 mo of age. Children in 12 intervention clusters (communities) were administered a daily 22-element MNP sachet with their food for 5 mo, and both intervention and control groups (also 12 clusters) received nutrition, health, and hygiene education. The current study involved the assessment of children at 16-22 mo of age (22-element MNP group: n = 96; control group: n = 82) on 3 subtests of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development III test to measure cognitive, receptive language, and expressive language development.
Results: There was a significant effect of the 22-element MNP on children's expressive language scores (d = 0.39), and stunting moderated the effect on receptive language scores; there was no effect on cognitive development (d = 0.08).
Conclusion: An MNP may thus offer one feasible solution to improve language development of LBW-T children in low-resource community settings. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01455636.
© 2014 American Society for Nutrition.