The major aim of this trial was to compare the development of 18-month-old infants who received complementary feeding for 1 year either with lipid-based nutrient supplements or micronutrient fortified corn-soy porridge. Our secondary aim was to determine the socio-economic factors associated with developmental outcomes in the same population. A total of 163 six-month-old rural Malawian children were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial where the control population received daily supplementation with 71g corn-soy flour [Likuni Phala (LP)] (282kcal) and individuals in the intervention groups received daily either 50g of lipid-based nutrient supplement (FS50) (264kcal) or 25g of lipid-based nutrient supplement (FS25) (130kcal). The main outcome measures were Griffiths' developmental scores at 0-2 years. Independent comparison of study groups was carried out using analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistics where mean raw scores, quotients, or mental ages were compared. Association of developmental outcome with predictor variables were examined using multiple regression. At 18 months of chronological age, the mean±standard deviation (SD) mental ages in the LP, FS50, and FS25 groups were 17.9±1.3, 17.9±1.3, and 17.9±1.2 (P>0.99), respectively. Likewise, the mean raw developmental scores and mean developmental quotients did not differ significantly. Length-for-age z-score gain during the intervention period, and maternal education were associated with developmental outcome at 18 months (P=0.03 and P=0.04; respectively). In conclusion, rural Malawian infants receiving 12-month daily supplementation of their diet either with the tested lipid-based nutrient supplements or fortified corn-soy flour have comparable development outcomes by 18 months of age.
- Child development
- Complementary feeding
- Lipid-based nutrient supplements
- Randomized controlled trial