The island-wide comprehensive supplementary feeding scheme known as 'Thriposha' programme has been in existence in the country for over three decades. Its effectiveness on growth, however, has not yet been evaluated.
Objective: We examined the effects of Thriposha dietary supplementation on anthropometric parameters (weight&height) among preschool children in Galle.
Methods: Preschool children (aged 3-5 years) from two well-baby clinics grouped into interventional (n=137) arm and control (n = 130) arm, were fed with ordinary Thriposha (50 g/day) and Thriposha made without mineral and vitamin premix, respectively for a period of nine months. Height and weight were recorded using a portable stadiometer and a beam balance, respectively at baseline and after 5 months and 9 months of intervention.
Results: At the end of 9 months, weight gain in the intervention group was +1.35 (0.6) Kg, whereas it was +1.22 (0.5) Kg (p = 0.08 for the between group difference) in the control. The height gain was +4.76 (1.3) cm in intervention group, whereas control group had +3.14 (2.1) cm of height gain (p < 0.001 for the between group difference). There was no treatment effect on weight in children aged <48 months, whereas those who were gain > 48 months in the Intervention group had significant (p = 0.05) weight over the control group children.
Conclusion: We confirm that regular consumption of conventional Thriposha for 9 months have a positive effect on height and weight gain among preschool children.
Keywords: Preschool children; dietary supplementation; weight; height.
GMJ 2011; 16(2): 1-7