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Wasting, defined as a weight-for-height z score less than −2 of the National Center for Health Statistics reference median, affects approximately 10% of children worldwide. In a cluster randomized controlled trial involving 12 villages in Maradi, Niger, Isanaka and colleagues Article assessed the effect of short-term preventive supplementation with ready-to-use therapeutic food (500 kcal/d) on nutritional status among children aged 6 to 60 months who were not malnourished at study enrollment. The authors found that compared with children who did not receive nutritional supplementation, children who received 3 months of therapeutic food supplementation experienced less decline in weight for height and a reduced incidence of wasting and severe wasting during an 8-month follow-up. In an editorial, Neufeld Article discusses the effectiveness and cost efficiencies of interventions to prevent severe malnutrition in children.
This Week in JAMA . JAMA. 2009;301(3):247. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.1026
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