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Assessment of Nutrition Intervention Impact on Children in Machakos, Kenya by Deuterium Dilution Isotope Method

John Wakhanu

Chemistry Department, School of Education, The Presbyterian University of East Africa, Kikuyu, Nairobi, Kenya.

*Corresponding author: John Wakhanu

Date: February 28,2023 Hits: 267


Deuterium Dilution Isotope method (DDIM) was used to assess body composition changes among school-going children in a nutrition intervention with Amaranthus cruentus and Vigna unguiculata, African indigenous leafy vegetables (AILVs), grown in Kangundo and Kilalani primary school gardens in Machakos County, Kenya. It was an experimental cross-over design in two phases, I (13 weeks) and II (12 weeks), with 4 weeks between phases then experimental and control groups for phase II interchanged. In phase I children aged 6-10 years, who met the inclusion criteria, were grouped as experimental (Kangundo, N=66) and control (Kilalani, N=46). The experimental group fed on a recipe of AILVs with an accompaniment of a mixture of maize and beans once a day, 5 days a week per phase while the control group fed only on the accompaniment. A pretested structured questionnaire was administered to parents/caregivers of the children to gather data on demographic and socio-economic characteristics, the methods of preparation and consumption patterns of vegetables, and morbidity patterns to establish the nutritional status of the study children before intervention. Saliva, before and after administration of deuterium oxide, was analyzed at baseline and endline by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to assess body composition changes and compare with Body Mass Index (BMI) changes. Methods of assessment were validated and a 24 hour dietary recall was used to monitor food intakes away from school. Findings indicated high morbidity and low nutrition status in the study subjects. Poverty and poor consumption of AILVs were reported. As opposed to BMI, DDIM showed a significant improvement in the body composition of experimental groups at endline (p<0.001) during both intervention phases. The higher potential of DDIM over BMI in the assessment of nutrition intervention impact is highlighted in this study.


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Assessment of Nutrition Intervention Impact on Children in Machakos, Kenya by Deuterium Dilution Isotope Method

How to cite this paper:  John Wakhanu. (2023) Assessment of Nutrition Intervention Impact on Children in Machakos, Kenya by Deuterium Dilution Isotope Method. International Journal of Food Science and Agriculture7(1), 56-65.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/ijfsa.2023.03.009