Supplementary feeding with fortified spread among moderately underweight 6-18-month-old rural Malawian children

John Phuka, Chrissie Thakwalakwa, Kenneth Maleta, Yin Bun Cheung, André Briend, Mark Manary, Per Ashorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We aimed to analyse growth and recovery from undernutrition among moderately underweight ambulatory children receiving micronutrient-fortified maize-soy flour (Likuni Phala, LP) or ready-to-use fortified spread (FS) supplementary diet. One hundred and seventy-six 6-18-month-old individuals were randomized to receive 500 g LP or 350 g FS weekly for 12 weeks. Baseline and end of intervention measurements were used to calculate anthropometric gains and recovery from underweight, wasting and stunting. Mean weight-for-age increased by 0.22 (95% CI 0.07-0.37) and 0.28 (0.18-0.40) Z-score units in the LP and FS groups respectively. Comparable increase for mean weight-for-length was 0.39 (0.20-0.57) and 0.52 (0.38-0.65) Z-score units. Recovery from underweight and wasting was 20% and 93% in LP group and 16% and 75% in FS group. Few individuals recovered from stunting and mean length-for-age was not markedly changed. There were no statistically significant differences between the outcomes in the two intervention groups. In a poor food-security setting, underweight infants and children receiving supplementary feeding for 12 weeks with ready-to-use FS or maize-soy flour porridge show similar recovery from moderate wasting and underweight. Neither intervention, if limited to a 12-week duration, appears to have significant impact on the process of linear growth or stunting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Fortified spread
  • Infants and young children
  • Moderately underweight
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Supplementary feeding
  • Undernutrition


Dive into the research topics of 'Supplementary feeding with fortified spread among moderately underweight 6-18-month-old rural Malawian children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this