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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MONTEIRO, Carlos Augusto  and  MEYER, Mauricio. A study of children's health in S. Paulo City (Brazil), 1984-1985: VIII - Coverage and impact of feeding supplementation. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1988, vol.22, n.2, pp.132-139. ISSN 1518-8787.

A random sample of under-fives living in the City of S. Paulo was studied with the aim of establishing the coverage and impact of supplementary feeding programs. The coverage for the whole sample was 11.4%. In all the cases supplementation was provided by health centers as part of a broad group of preventive and curative health activities. The supplement was always whole powder milk and for 94% of the sample the amount distributed was 2 kg per month per child. Supplementation was restricted almost entirely to children under two years of age and the highest coverage was reached in the 6-to 12-months age bracket. The highest coverage was observed among poor families and among children with weight deficits. The impact of the supplementation was evaluated through the comparison of the last 24 hours' milk intake of supplemented and non-suplemented children, controlled for age and socioeconomic strata. Milk intake was around 25w higher among supplemented children, both in the first and in the second year of life. For all the socioeconomic strata, milk intake was superior among supplemented children and for the lowest strata the difference in consumption reached 33%. An important finding revealed by the study was the very good correspondence between milk intake of supplemented children and the amount of milk usually delivered by the program. This fact eliminates the possibility that a large proportion of the supplement given to the child night be being shared with other members of the family. Considering the findings of this study and other data provided by the project "A study of children's health in S. Paulo City (Brazil)" some recommendations for the improvement of the supplementary feedings programs in S. Paulo City are made. Among these the most important seems to be the need for an expansion of the program in the second year of life and for correcting the insufficient amount of iron provided by the supplementation.

Keywords : Child health; Supplementary feeding; Nutrition surveys; Infant nutrition.

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