Effects of micronutrients on growth of children under 5 y of age

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Micronutrient interventions containing iron only, vitamin A only, and combinations of iron and zinc, iron and vitamin A, and zinc and vitamin A do not improve growth in height, weight, or WHZ in children aged < 5 y. Interventions containing zinc only have a small positive effect on change in WHZ but do not improve height or weight gain in young children. Multi-micronutrient (MM) interventions have a small effect only on growth in height.

Provision of micronutrients may represent a strategy to improve child health, however, the effects micronutrients have on child growth is still considered unclear. This meta-analysis looks at the effects of micronutrient intervention on the growth of children aged five or younger. This paper analyzes randomized control trials to limit the risk of bias results. Results show micronutrient interventions of zinc only, have an effect on weight-for-height z scores in children aged 5 or younger. Other micronutrient interventions do not improve growth in weight, height or weight-for-height z scores. Multi-micronutrient interventions have a small effect on growth in height for children.

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