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Inadequate dietary intake is not the cause of stunting amongst young children living in an informal settlement in Gauteng and rural Limpopo Province in South Africa: the NutriGro study

  • M Theron (a1), A Amissah (a2), IC Kleynhans (a1), E Albertse (a3) and UE MacIntyre (a4)...
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To measure dietary intakes of young children aged 12–24 months and to determine the impact of poor diets on stunting.

Design

A quantitative food-frequency questionnaire was adapted, tested and standardised. Trained enumerators conducted in-depth interviews with the mothers/caregivers of the children. Forty stunted children in urban informal settlements and 30 stunted children in rural areas were selected and pair-matched with controls. The data were captured on the Food Finder Program of the Medical Research Council.

Results

In both urban and rural areas, the diet of stunted and non-stunted groups did differ significantly and all diets were of poor nutritional quality.

Conclusion

Diets in both areas resembled the recommended prudent diet, i.e. low in fat and high in carbohydrates. Poor quality diets were not the primary cause of stunting.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email: TheronM@tut.ac.za
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14 JLA Hautvast , LJM van der Heijden , AK Luneta , WA Van Staveren , JJM Tolboom , SM Van Gastel . Food consumption of young stunted and non-stunted children in rural Zambia. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998; 53: 50–9.

16 SB Roberts . High-glycemic index foods, hunger and obesity: is there any connection? Nutrition Reviews 2000; 58: 163.

19 SL Huffman , H Luann , MA Martin . First feedings: optimal feeding of young childs and toddlers. Nutrition Research 1994; 14: 127–59.

22 BD Richardson , RE Sinwel , JM Rantsho . The variety of food items consumed by different child populations in South Africa. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 1982; 12: 29–37.

24 D Mahalanabis . Breastfeeding and vitamin A deficiency among children attending a diarrhoea treatment center in Bangladesh: a case-control. British Medical Journal 1994; 303: 493–6.

26 ML Langenhoven , K Steyn , M Van Eck , E Gouws . Nutrient intake in the Coloured population of the Cape Peninsula. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 1988; 22: 107–16.

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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
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