Eggs significantly increased growth and reduced stunting by 47 percent in young children, finds a new study from a leading expert on child nutrition at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Eggs are affordable and are a good source of nutrients for growth and development in young children, the researchers noted.
The study team conducted a randomized, controlled trial in Ecuador in 2015. Children ages 6-9 months were randomly assigned to be given one egg per day for 6 months, versus a control group, which did not receive eggs.
Eggs were shown to increase standardized length-for-age score and weight-for-age score. Models indicated a reduced prevalence of stunting by 47 percent and underweight by 74 percent. Children received an egg each day also had a lower intake of sugar-sweetened foods compared to the control group.
Eggs are a complete food, safely packaged and arguably more accessible in resource-poor populations than other complementary foods, specifically fortified foods, the lead researcher said.
The findings suggest that eggs may be a viable and recommended source of nutrition for children in developing countries.
Source: Pediatrics, June 2017.
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