A recent expert study was commissioned to determine the effect of a nutritional supplement on height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) in short and lean children who had fallen behind in healthy growth.
Who took part?
The children who took part were aged between 3-9 years with height and weight below the 10th percentile, and a below the weight and height percentile for their age and sex according to 2000 Centers for Disease Control growth charts13. Baseline characteristics including age, sex, height, weight, and BMI, and dietary, caloric and protein intakes were similar in the formula and placebo groups.
What were they given?
Participants were split into two groups and given either a nutritional formula or a placebo product. The formula group was given the proprietary nutritional supplement providing energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, whilst the placebo group received a low-caloric, low-protein formula, without added vitamins and minerals1.
Participants consumed 1 sachet of formula or placebo (4 tablespoons of powder) mixed with 200 ml of water in addition to their regular diet, and 2 flavour variants of the formula were used in the study: vanilla and chocolate. In terms of participation, the categorizations used are referred to as ‘good’ and ‘poor’ consumers, meaning ‘good’ consumption is defined as intake of more than 50% and ‘poor’ consumption as an intake of less than 50% of the dose.
The study reported that the good consumers in the formula group significantly gained height and weight, compared to poor consumers and the placebo group. After 6 months of the study, in the formula-treated group a positive correlation was found between the amount of formula consumed per body weight and the gain in height and weight, whereas no significant correlations were found in the placebo group. While the nutrition intervention to the short and lean pre-pubertal children was for 6 months, a mid-study response analysis analysis reported significant improvement in height and weight after 3 months’ intervention
What did the study prove?
The study therefore concluded that the giving the nutritional formula to healthy short and lean children aged 3 to 9 for a period of 6 months, significantly increased their height and weight1.
Who performed the trial?
This study was led and conducted by a team of well renowned researchers and doctors, at the Institute for Endocrinology of the Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, after many years of research.
The details of the nutrition intervention trial are published in a peer reviewed journal- “The Journal of Pediatrics, 2014”
Access the journal to read more about the trial.
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