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Undernutrition and a lack of learning opportunities can jeopardize long-term growth and development among infants in low- and middle-income countries. We conducted a 6-month 2 × 2 cluster-randomized trial to assess the effects of multiple micronutrient-fortified beverages and responsive caregiving interventions among infants 6–18 months in 72 community sectors in southwest Guatemala. We administered baseline and endline assessments of childhood development (Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development) and socioemotional development (Brief Infant Toddler Socio-Emotional Assessment) and measured ferritin and hemoglobin on a subsample. The trial was analyzed using linear mixed models. At the baseline, the mean age (SD) was 13.0 (4.6) months, including 49% males, 32% who were stunted, 55% who were anemic, and 58% who were iron deficient. At the endline (n = 328/386, 85% retention), there was no synergistic effect on the fortified beverage and responsive caregiving intervention. Compared to the non-fortified beverage group, socioemotional development improved in the fortified beverage group. There were no intervention effects on other measures of child development, hemoglobin, or ferritin. In a setting with high rates of anemia and iron deficiency, a multiple micronutrient-fortified beverage improved infants’ socioemotional development.


Georgia Southern University faculty member, Ana M. Palacios co-authored The Effects of Multiple Micronutrient Fortified Beverage and Responsive Caregiving Interventions on Early Childhood Development, Hemoglobin, and Ferritin among Infants in Rural Guatemala.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.