Dietary management of childhood diarrhea in low- and middle-income countries

Added March 13, 2018

Citation: Gaffey M.F., Wazny K., Bassani D.G., et al. Dietary management of childhood diarrhea in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 2013;13(Suppl 3):S17.

Among children in low- and middle-income countries, where the dual burden of diarrhea and malnutrition is greatest and where access to proprietary formulas and specialized ingredients is limited, the use of locally available age-appropriate foods should be promoted for the majority of acute diarrhea (AD) cases.

There is still some debate around the current guidelines on the treatment of diarrhea in children from low- and middle-income countries. This review aimed to assess randomized controlled trials evaluating food-based interventions among children under five years old with diarrhea in low- and middle-income countries. Data from twenty-nine studies was included in meta-analysis on the following outcomes; diarrhea duration, stool output, weight gain (WG) and treatment failure risk (TFR) for studies on AD and persistent diarrhea (PD) separately. Evidence of varying qualities was observed in the results. Authors found that diluting/fermenting lactose-containing liquid feeds (LLF) didn’t affect any outcome when compared with an ordinary LLF. Lactose-free feeds were shown to reduce TFR, compared to LLF for AD. Limited evidence on the effects of interventions on PD was available. No effect on any outcomes was observed for other forms of food-based intervention compared to home-available ingredients for AD, nor PD. WG in children with acute diarrhea was shown to be greater among those fed with a home-available diet.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence the prevention and treatment of malnutrition but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about prevention or treatment of malnutirition on the basis of this summary alone.

Share