CNP : Role of Animal Source Foods to Improve Diet Quality and Growth and Cognitive Development in East African Children

CRSP:   |  Region:   |  Topic: ,   |  Database:

Project Code:

Start Date:

End Date:

CRSP Phase:
Phase 1

Not Available



Lead University:

Other Partners:
University of Nairobi, Pediatrics, School of Medicine; University of Nairobi, Department of Food Science, Applied Nutrition Program; University of Nairobi, College of Agriculture; Ministry of Health, Nutrition Division, Central and District Level; Ministry of Education, Office of Child Health and Nutrition Central and Provincial Level; Makerere University; Kenya Agriculture Research Institute - Nairobi Ministry of Agriculture; Heme Economics and Livestock Central and District Office

Principal Investigator(s):
Charlotte G. Neumann

Co-Principal Investigator(s):
Nimrod O. Bwibo (Kenya); Suzanne P. Murphy, Marian Sigman (US)


The overall goal of the controlled child feeding intervention study was to improve the health, growth, and cognitive function of children through improving diet quality through the addition of animal source foods. The main research objective was to complete a controlled feeding intervention study of primary school children to determine if consumption of animal source foods (milk or meat) resulted in improved health, growth, and cognitive function compared to those children on the usual maize and bean-based diet. Results from the CNP project inspired the conference on June 24-26 in Washington DC, the proceedings of which appeared as a supplement to the Journal of Nutrition, Volume 133 No. 11S-II ”Animal Source Foods to Improve Micronutrient Nutrition and Human Function in Developing Countries” in 2003.


Coming soon


Data analyses as of September 30, 2001 showed that the meat supplemented groups showed the greatest gain over time which were statistically significant: - Cognitive Scores-(Ravens and arithmetic) - Growth-Lean body mass (muscle area) - Physical Activity- high levels of activity - Behaviors-leadership, initiative - Micronutrient Status- in vitamin B12 with elimination of moderate and severe deficiencies after two years of feeding children with evidence of infection and/or malaria. The milk group also showed statistically significant increases in vitamin B12 both at the one-year and the final follow up. Also, the milk group showed a greater, but non-significant advantage, in height growth in the 6 to 7 year old children, but this was not sustained. Thus, animal source foods in the diet, particularly meat,improves cognitive function, increase in muscle mass, and vitamin B12 nutrition which have implications for maximizing the ability of the children to learn, show leadership and initiative, and be physically active. The challenge is to increase the household production and utilization of locally available sources of a variety of animal foods

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