Adaptation of New Colombian Food-based Complementary Feeding Recommendations Using Linear Programming

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The aim of the study was to use linear programming (LP) analyses to adapt New Complementary Feeding Guidelines (NCFg) designed for infants aged 6 to 12 months living in poor socioeconomic circumstances in Bogota to ensure dietary adequacy for young children aged 12 to 23 months.


A secondary data analysis was performed using dietary and anthropometric data collected from 12-month-old infants (n = 72) participating in a randomized controlled trial. LP analyses were performed to identify nutrients whose requirements were difficult to achieve using local foods as consumed; and to test and compare the NCFg and alternative food-based recommendations (FBRs) on the basis of dietary adequacy, for 11 micronutrients, at the population level.


Thiamine recommended nutrient intakes for these young children could not be achieved given local foods as consumed. NCFg focusing only on meat, fruits, vegetables, and breast milk ensured dietary adequacy at the population level for only 4 micronutrients, increasing to 8 of 11 modelled micronutrients when the FBRs promoted legumes, dairy, vitamin A–rich vegetables, and chicken giblets. None of the FBRs tested ensured population-level dietary adequacy for thiamine, niacin, and iron unless a fortified infant food was recommended.


The present study demonstrated the value of using LP to adapt NCFg for a different age group than the one for which they were designed. Our analyses suggest that to ensure dietary adequacy for 12- to 23-month olds these adaptations should include legumes, dairy products, vitamin A–rich vegetables, organ meat, and a fortified food.

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