Nutrition (Micronutrients) in Child Growth and Development: A Systematic Review on Current Evidence, Recommendations and Opportunities for Further Research

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An important aspect of malnutrition is deficiency of different micronutrients during pregnancy or early childhood. We systematically reviewed the role of nutrition in child growth (weight or height gain) and development.


A comprehensive literature search was done on PubMed/Cochrane Library browsing through 38,795 abstracts until December 31, 2016 to select systematic reviews/meta-analyses and individual randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of micronutrient supplementation.


Micronutrients studied included iron, iodine, folate, zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, and multiple micronutrients. We summarize evidence with details and results of RCTs, highlight strengths/weaknesses, and critically interpret findings. Effects of breastfeeding-promotion, food-supplementation (complementary and school feeding), conditional-cash-transfers, and integrated nutrition/psychosocial interventions are discussed.


Based on this evidence we make policy and programmatic recommendations for supplementation to mothers and children at high-risk of deficiency.

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