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Maternal and Infant Lipid-Based Nutritional Supplementation Increases Height of Ghanaian Children at 4-6 Years Only if the Mother Was Not Overweight Before Conception.

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Few studies have evaluated the long-term effects of nutritional supplementation during the first 1000 d of life. We previously reported that maternal and child lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) increased child length by 18 mo.


The aim of this study was to examine the effects of LNS on later growth and body composition at 4-6 y of age.


This was a follow-up of children in the International Lipid-based Nutrient Supplements (iLiNS)-DYAD trial in Ghana. Women (n = 1320) at ≤20 weeks of gestation were randomly assigned to: 1) iron and folic acid during pregnancy and 200 mg calcium/d for 6 mo postpartum, 2) multiple micronutrients (1-2 RDA of 18 vitamins and minerals) during both periods, or 3) maternal LNS during both periods plus child LNS from 6 to 18 mo. At 4-6 y, we compared height, height-for-age z score (HAZ), and % body fat (deuterium dilution method) between the LNS group and the 2 non-LNS groups combined.


Data were available for 961 children (76.5% of live births). There were no significant differences between LNS compared with non-LNS groups in height [106.7 compared with 106.3 cm (mean difference, MD, 0.36; P = 0.226)], HAZ [-0.49 compared with -0.57 (MD = 0.08; P = 0.226)], stunting (< -2 SD) [6.5 compared with 6.3% (OR = 1.00; P = 0.993)], or % body fat [15.5 compared with 15.3% (MD = 0.16; P = 0.630)]. However, there was an interaction with maternal prepregnancy BMI (kg/m2) (P-interaction = 0.046 before correction for multiple testing): among children of women with BMI < 25 , LNS children were taller than non-LNS children (+1.1 cm, P = 0.017), whereas there was no difference among children of women with BMI ≥ 25 (+0.1 cm; P = 0.874).


There was no overall effect of LNS on height at 4-6 y in this cohort, which had a low stunting rate, but height was greater in the LNS group among children of nonoverweight/obese women. There was no adverse impact of LNS on body composition. This trial was registered at as NCT00970866.

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