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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557


BORTOLINI, Gisele Ane  and  VITOLO, Márcia Regina. The impact of systematic dietary counseling during the first year of life on prevalence rates of anemia and iron deficiency at 12-16 months. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2012, vol.88, n.1, pp.33-39. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact that a program based on maternal dietary counseling covering breastfeeding and healthy complementary feeding had on the prevalence of iron deficiency, anemia and iron deficiency anemia in children aged 12 to 16 months. METHODS: Newborn infants were randomized at birth to an intervention or a control group. Mothers in the intervention group received home visits during the children’s first year of life on a monthly basis up to 6 months, and at 8, 10 and 12 months. The mothers in the control group received visits for data collection when children reached 6 and 12 months. All children were visited at ages between 12 and 16 months and 24-hour dietary recalls and hemoglobin and ferritin tests were conducted. RESULTS: There was no evidence that the intervention had an effect on anemia incidence, which was 66.5% in the intervention group and 61.8% in the control group. There was also no evidence of any difference between the groups in the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia or of iron deficiency. However, a higher percentage of children in the intervention group were exclusively breastfed at 4 and 6 months, and breastfed at 6 and 12 months. Intervention group children also consumed more meat and were fed diets with better iron bioavailability and consumed less cow’s milk and calcium than children from the control group. CONCLUSION: This intervention had no effect on the prevalence of anemia, iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia. Clinical trial registry identification number: NCT00629629.

Keywords : Intervention studies; anemia; public policies; infant nutrition.

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