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Early Egg Intro May Improve Growth in Young Children

One egg per day linked to increased length-for-age z score and weight-for-age z score in infants


WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Early introduction of eggs is associated with improved growth in young children, according to a study published online June 7 in Pediatrics.

Lora L. Iannotti, Ph.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial involving children aged 6 to 9 months in Ecuador who were randomized to receive one egg per day for six months (83 children) or no intervention (80 children). Both groups received social marketing messages to encourage participation in the project.

The researchers noted that there were no reports of allergic reactions to the eggs by mothers or other caregivers. The egg intervention correlated with increased length-for-age z score and weight-for-age z score (by 0.63 and 0.61, respectively). The prevalence of stunting and underweight were reduced by 47 and 74 percent, respectively. Compared with the control group, children in the treatment group had higher dietary intakes of eggs (prevalence ratio, 1.57) and reduced intake of sugar-sweetened foods (prevalence ratio, 0.71).

"The findings supported our hypothesis that early introduction of eggs significantly improved growth in young children," the authors write. "Generally accessible to vulnerable groups, eggs have the potential to contribute to global targets to reduce stunting."

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