Supplemental feeding with ready-to-use therapeutic food in Malawian children at risk of malnutrition

Monica P. Patel, Heidi L. Sandige, MacDonald J. Ndekha, André Briend, Per Ashorn, Mark J. Manary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


The study was a controlled, comparative clinical effectiveness trial of two supplementary feeding regimlens in children at risk of malnutrition from seven centres in rural Malawi. Being at risk of malnutrition was defined as weight-for-height <85%, but >80% of the international standard. A stepped-wedge design with systematic allocation was used for assigning children to receive either ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) (n=331) or micronutrient-fortified corn/soy-blend (n=41) for up to eight weeks. The primary outcomes were recovery, defined as weight-for-height >90%, and the rate of weight gain. Children receiving RUTF were more likely to recover (58% vs 22%; difference 36%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2052) and had greater rates of weight gain (3.1 g/kg.d vs 1.4 g/kg.d; difference 1.7; 95% CI 0.8-2.6) than children receiving corn/soy-blend. The results of this preliminary work suggest that supplementary feeding with RUTF promotes better growth in children at risk of malnutrition than the standard fortified cereal/legume-blended food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Child growth
  • Child nutrition
  • Child nutrition disorders
  • Comparative studies
  • Food fortified
  • Food supplementation
  • Infant food
  • Infant growth
  • Infant nutrition
  • Infant nutrition disorders
  • Malawi
  • Risk factors

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