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close this bookEarly Supplementary Feeding and Cognition (Society for Research in Child Development, 1993, 123 pages)
close this folderII. Methodology and findings of the longitudinal study
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentThe villages
View the documentExperimental intervention
View the documentEffects of experimental intervention on infant and preschool development
View the documentMethods of the current analyses
View the documentResults of the current analyses
View the documentConclusions

Experimental intervention

Two villages (one from each pair) were provided with Atole and the other two with Fresco. Since at the time the longitudinal study began it was assumed that the amount of calories contained in Fresco was insufficient to have a developmental effect, it was administered as a placebo.

The Atole supplement was a warm, thick, brown, sweet drink, similar to the corn gruels that Guatemalan mothers often give their children. It was based on a food supplement, Incaparina, developed at INCAP to serve as a high-protein substitute for the traditional corn drink, mixed with dry skim milk and sugar. The Atole contained 11.5 g of protein per cup (180 ml) and 163 kcal of energy per cup.

The control drink, Fresco, was a cool, clear, sweet drink (like KoolAid) and was also common in these villages. At 59 kcal per cup, it contained approximately one-third the calories of Atole and no protein. Both Atole and Fresco were fortified with vitamins and minerals (for their specific composition, see Table 1).

The supplement was available twice daily (10 A.M. and 2 P.M.), seven days a week, in a central feeding station that was located in each village next to the central plaza. Each person who entered the center was given a cup of supplement (180 ml), and the name of the recipient was noted. If requested, infants were given the supplement in a bottle. People sat at one of the five to six round tables in the room to drink their supplement; those who wanted it were given more. When the subject had finished, the cup was turned in, and the amount left over was recorded to 10 ml. The supplement was available to every resident of the village, but ingestion was recorded only for target subjects, namely, pregnant and lactating women aged 15 years and older and children up to age 7. Children tended to come with their mothers until the age of 3 or 4; after that, they usually came with older siblings. As they got older, they came by themselves or with their younger siblings.

TABLE 1: FORMULAS AND NUTRIENT CONTENTS OF ATOLE AND FRESCO


Atole

Fresco

Ingredients (g/180 ml):


Incaparina a

13.5

...


Dry skim milk

21.5

...


Sugar

9.0

...


Flavoring agent

...

2.1

Nutrients (per 180 ml):


Energy (kcal)

163.0

59.0


Protein (g)

11.5

...


Vitamin A (mg)

1.2

...


Fats (g)

.7

...


Carbohydrates (g)

27.8

15.3

Nutrients (per 180 ml):


Ascorbic acid (mg)

4.0

4.0


Calcium (g)

.4

...


Phosphorus (g)

.3

...


Thiamine (mg)

1.1

1.1


Riboflavin (mg)

1.5

1.5


Niacin (mg)

13.5

13.5


Vitamin A (mg)

1.2

1.2


Iron (mg)

5.4

5.0


Fluoride (mg)

.2

.2

NOTE - Both preparations were distributed daily from January 1, 1969. to February 28, 1977. Vitamins and minerals were added to the Fresco on October 1, 1971.

a Incaparina is a vegetable protein mixture developed by INCAP. It is marketed in Central America by private industry.