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

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Abstract

Objective:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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