Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
GIGANTE, Denise Petrucci et al. Isotope methods for evaluating the impact of the National Nutritional Program in Alagoas: methodological aspects and preliminary results. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2002, vol.5, n.1, pp. 63-70. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2002000100008.
OBJECTIVE: To describe methodological aspects and preliminary results of an intervention designed to measure the impact on child growth of nutritional programs delivered to underweight children in a Northeastern state of Brazil. METHODS: This is a natural longitudinal controlled experiment or quasi experiment, in which intervention and control groups were compared at baseline and endpoint. Twenty municipalities of the state of Alagoas were selected through a coverage indicator of the nutritional program at the municipal level. Coverage was estimated by the difference between the proportion of underweight children and the proportion of children actually reached by the nutritional program. The ten municipalities with higher coverage indicators were selected for the intervention group, those ten with lower coverage were selected for the control group. Fifteen children that entered the program in each intervention municipality and fifteen eligible children not included in the nutritional program were included in the study. RESULTS: A structured questionnaire and nutritional assessment were applied on 111 children of the intervention group and 102 children of the control group. Baseline characteristics are presented. The demographic variables for mothers and children were similar in the intervention and control group. Children from the intervention group had lower family income and their parents had a lower level of schooling. There was no difference in the nutritional characteristics of the intervention and control group. CONCLUSION: The preliminary results showed that the groups are comparable in terms of demographic and nutritional variables. The difference in the socioeconomic level between intervention and control group will be considered in the adjusted analyses in the second phase of the study.
Keywords : Intervention studies; Program evaluation; Supplementary feeding; Child.