Effects of iron fortification in a school feeding scheme and anthelmintic therapy on the iron status and growth of six- to eight-year-old schoolchildren

Kruger M. ; Badenhorst C.J. ; Mansvelt E.P.G. ; Laubscher J.A. ; Benade A.J.S. (1996)


The effect of iron fortification of soup in a school feeding scheme (20 mg iron and 100 mg vitamin C per portion) and anthelmintic therapy on haematological and iron status and on growth was studied in 179 schoolchildren age six to eight years. Measurements were performed before and at the end of a sixmonth intervention and repeated five months later. In children with low baseline iron stores (serum ferritin <20 μg/L), iron fortification was associated with increases in haemoglobin Cp < .05), mean corpuscular volume (p < .01), and serum ferritin (p < .0001), compared with children who received unfortified soup. Significant positive effects of the anthelmintic therapy on haemoglobin concentrations (p < .05) and height-for-age Z scores (p < .01) were found. Children with adequate baseline iron stores showed smaller but similar changes.

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