Published Studies

This page includes publications from individual clinical trials testing food aid products, and reports and evaluations from programs using food aid products. These resources are tagged according to country, nutritional problem studied, intervention used, study type, year, and author. If relevant to more than one category, the document appears in both categories. New resources are added regularly according to search criteria and standards developed by REFINE.

Do you know of a recently published study or trial that isn’t included here? Email us at REFINEnutrition@gmail.com!


Displaying 126 - 150 of 181 Results
Harding, K. L., Matias, S. L., Moniruzzaman, M., Stewart, C. P., Mridha, M. K., Vosti, S. A., Dewey, K. G.. "Rang-Din Nutrition Study: Assessment of participant adherence to lipid-based nutrient and iron-folic acid supplements among pregnant and lactating women in the context of a study on the effectiveness of supplements in Bangladesh ." FANTA III Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Report (2014)
Study Interventions
  • Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS)
Research Gaps
  • Use
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Pregnant & Lactating Women
Humber, J., Vosti, S. A., Cummins, J., Mridha, M., Matias, S. L., Dewey, K.. "The Rang-Din Nutrition Study in rural Bangladesh: the costs and cost-effectiveness of programmatic interventions to improve linear growth at birth and 18 months, and the costs of these interventions at 24 months ." FANTA III Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Report (2017)
Study Interventions
  • Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS)
Research Gaps
  • Cost
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
  • Pregnant & Lactating Women
  • GAM
Jessica Bliss, Kate Golden, Leila Bourahla, Rebecca Stoltzfus, David Pelletier. "." Journal of Global Health 8 , no. 1 (2018)
Study Interventions
  • Cash transfer
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • SAM
  • GAM
  • MAM
Susan B. Roberts, Maria Angela Franceschini, Amy Krauss, Pei-Yi Lin, Augusto Braima de Sa, Raimundo Co ́, SalimaTaylor, Carrie Brown, Oliver Chen, Elizabeth J. Johnson, William Pruzensky, Nina Schlossman, Carlito Bale ́, Kuan-Cheng (Tony) Wu, Katherine Hagan, Edward Saltzman, Paul Muentener. "." Current Developments in Nutrition 1 , no. 11 (2017)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Locally produced
  • Micronutrient powders (MNP)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • MAM
Zeweter Abebe , Gulelat Desse Haki, Kaleab Baye. "." Maternal and Child Nutrition 14 , no. 1 (2017)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Micronutrient powders (MNP)
  • Other
Research Gaps
  • Efficacy
  • Use
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
Pernilla Svefors , Katarina Ekholm Selling, Rubina Shaheen, Ashraful Islam Khan, Lars-Åke Persson, Lars Lindholm. "." PLoS ONE 13 , no. 2 (2018)
Study Interventions
  • Other
Research Gaps
  • Cost
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
  • Pregnant & Lactating Women
Heather C Stobaugh, Lucy B Bollinger, Sara E Adams, Audrey H Crocker, Jennifer B Grise, Julie A Kennedy, Chrissie Thakwalakwa, Kenneth M Maleta, Dennis J Dietzen , Mark J Manary, Indi Trehan. "." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 106 , no. 2 (2017) : 656-666
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS)
  • Micronutrient powders (MNP)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • MAM
Audrie Lin, Benjamin F Arnold, Andrew N Mertens, Jue Lin, Jade Benjamin-Chung, Shahjahan Ali, Alan E Hubbard, Christine P Stewart, Abul K Shoab, Md Ziaur Rahman, Md Saheen Hossen, Palash Mutsuddi, Syeda L Famida, Salma Akther, Mahbubur Rahman, Leanne Unic. "." eLife (2017)
Study Interventions
  • Micronutrient powders (MNP)
  • Water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Pregnant & Lactating Women
Alemayehu Argaw, Mekitie Wondafrash, Kimberley P Bouckaert, Patrick Kolsteren, Carl Lachat, Tefera Belachew, Bruno De Meulenaer, Lieven Huybregts. "." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 107 , no. 3 (2018) : 454-464
Study Interventions
  • Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
Agapova, S. E., Stephenson, K. B., Divala, O., Kaimila, Y., Maleta K. M., Thakwalakwa, C. Ordiz, M. I., Trehan, I., Manary, M. J.. "BACKGROUND: Chronic malnutrition, as manifested by linear growth faltering, is pervasive among rural African children. Improvements in complementary feeding may decrease the burden of environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) and thus improve growth in children during the critical first 1000 d of development. OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that systematically including common bean or cowpea into complementary feeding would reduce EED and growth faltering among children in rural Malawi. METHODS: This was a double-blind clinical trial in which children 12-23 mo of age were randomly assigned to receive complementary feeding with 1 of 3 foods: roasted cowpea or common bean flour, or an isoenergetic amount of corn-soy blend as a control food for 48 wk. Children aged 12-23 mo received 155 kcal/d and thereafter until 35 mo received 200 kcal/d. The primary outcomes were change in length-for-age z score (LAZ) and improvements in a biomarker of EED, the percentage of lactulose (%L) excreted as part of the lactulose:mannitol dual-sugar absorption test. Anthropometric measurements and urinary %L excretion were compared between the 2 intervention groups and the control group separately with the use of linear mixed model analyses for repeated measures. RESULTS: A total of 331 children completed the clinical trial. Compliance with the study interventions was excellent, with >90% of the intervention flour consumed as intended. No significant effects on LAZ, change in LAZ, or weight-for-length z score were observed due to either intervention legume, compared to the control. %L was reduced with common bean consumption (effect estimate was -0.07 percentage points of lactulose, P = 0.0007). The lactulose:mannitol test was not affected by the legume intervention. CONCLUSION: The addition of common bean to complementary feeding of rural Malawian children during the second year of life led to an improvement in a biomarker of gut health, although this did not directly translate into improved linear growth. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02472301 ." 148 , no. 2 (2018) : 267–274
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Composition
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
Sibson VL, Grijalva-Eternod CS, Noura G, Lewis J, Kladstrup K, Haghparast-Bidgoli H, Skordis-Worrall J, Colbourn T, Morrison J, Seal AJ. "." Maternal & Child Nutrition 4 , no. 14 (2018)
Study Interventions
  • Cash transfer
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • MAM
Isanaka S, Barnhart DA, McDonald CM, Ackatia-Armah RS, Kupka R, Doumbia S, Brown KH, Menzies NA.. "." BMJ Global Health 4 , no. 2 (2019)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • SAM
Kwaku Tano-Debrah, PhD, Firibu Kwesi Saalia, PhD, Shibani Ghosh, PhD, Masashi Hara, PhD. "." Food And Nutrition Bulletin (2019)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Locally produced
Research Gaps
  • Acceptability
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
  • MAM
Taylor S, Silver R, Franceschini M, Muentener P, de Sa AB, Co R, Sonco A, Balé C, Saltzman E, Roberts S.. "  OBJECTIVES: Undernutrition is prevalent among young children worldwide and is associated with impaired cognition and reduced educational attainment. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to test the effect of a novel supplementary food (regenerative nutrition for enhanced wellness-cognition; RENEW-C) compared to traditional feeding practices on cognitive function, cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism in rural Guinea-Bissau. METHODS: Children aged 15 months to 7 years (n = 1059) were randomized to receive isocaloric quantities of RENEW-C (a highly-fortified cocoa-based bar), a USAID fortified blended food (FBF) or a Control food (rice cooked with oil, replicating a traditional breakfast). The primary outcome was executive function. Secondary outcomes included a cerebral blood flow index (CBFi) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) measured by Frequency-Domain Near-Infrared Spectroscopy and Diffusion Correlation Spectroscopy (FDNIRS-DCS, MetaOx, ISS Inc.). Six-month changes for RENEW-C and FBF versus Controls were assessed by multivariable linear mixed models adjusted for age, sex, baseline measurement, and study cohort. RESULTS: Improvements in executive function (0.38; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.71; P = 0.02) were observed for RENEW-C compared to Controls in the predefined study focus (children < 4 years consuming >75% their supplement). There was no significant effect of RENEW-C in children ≥ 4 years. No benefit of the FBF was observed in either age group. In addition, changes in CBFi and CMRO2 in RENEW-C children were greater than in Controls in both ventrolateral prefrontal cortical regions (P = 0.03 and P = 0.04 for left and right, respectively) and greater than FBF in the left ventrolateral (P = 0.05) and left dorsolateral (P = 0.03) prefrontal cortices. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with traditional feeding practices, the RENEW-C supplement consumption was correlated with a marked improvement in executive function among children < 4 years and large increases in vascular perfusion and oxygen metabolism in a region where undernutrition is prevalent. These results indicate that new approaches to formulating supplementary foods for children at risk of undernutrition can potentially yield substantial improvements in brain health and cognition. ." Current Developments in Nutrition 3 , no. Supp 1 (2019)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
  • MAM
Soofi S, Nawaz G, Garzon C.. "." Curren Developments in Nutrition Supp 1 , no. 3 (2019)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
. "." Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 32 , no. 3 (2019) : 295-302
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • MAM
Bindi Borg, Seema Mihrshahi, Mark Griffin, Daream Sok, Chamnan Chhoun, Arnaud Laillou, Frank T. Wieringa. "." Maternal & Child Nutrition 15 , no. 3 (2019)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Locally produced
Research Gaps
  • Acceptability
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • MAM
Deanna K Olney, Jef Leroy, Lilia Bliznashka, and Marie T Ruel. " Background Food-assisted maternal and child health and nutrition (FA-MCHN) programs may foster child growth during the first 1000 d (pregnancy and the first 2 y of a child's life), but evidence is scant. Objective We evaluated the impact of an FA-MCHN program, PROCOMIDA, on linear growth (stunting [length-for-age z score (LAZ) < –2] and length-for-age difference [LAD]) among children aged 1–24 mo. PROCOMIDA was implemented in Guatemala by Mercy Corps and was available to beneficiaries throughout the first 1000 d. Methods We used a longitudinal, cluster-randomized controlled trial with groups varying in family ration sizes [full (FFR), reduced (RFR), and none (NFR)] and individual ration types provided to mothers (pregnancy to 6 mo postpartum) and children (6–24 mo of age) [corn-soy blend (CSB), lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS), micronutrient powder (MNP)]: 1) FFR + CSB (n = 576); 2) RFR + CSB (n = 575); 3) NFR + CSB (n = 542); 4) FFR + LNS (n = 550); 5) FFR + MNP (n = 587); 6) control (n = 574). Program impacts compared with control, and differential impacts between groups varying family ration size or individual ration type, were assessed through the use of linear mixed-effects models and post hoc simple effect tests (significant if P < 0.05). Results PROCOMIDA significantly reduced stunting at age 1 mo in FFR + CSB, RFR + CSB, and FFR + MNP groups compared with control [5.05, 4.06, and 3.82 percentage points (pp), respectively]. Stunting impact increased by age 24 mo in FFR + CSB and FFR + MNP relative to control (impact = 11.1 and 6.5 pp at age 24 mo, respectively). For CSB recipients, the FFR compared with RFR or NFR significantly reduced stunting (6.47–9.68 pp). CSB reduced stunting significantly more than LNS at age 24 mo (8.12 pp). Conclusions FA-MCHN programs can reduce stunting during the first 1000 d, even in relatively energy/food-secure populations. Large family rations with individual rations of CSB or MNP were most effective. The widening of impact as children age highlights the importance of intervening throughout the full first 1000 d. ." The Journal of Nutrition 148 , no. 9 (2018) : 1493–1505
Study Interventions
  • Behavior change communication (BCC)
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Micronutrient powders (MNP)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
Wataru Sato, Chie Furuta, Keiko Matsunaga, Paluku Bahwere, Steve Collins, Kate Sadler, Peter Akomo, Chrissy Banda, Elizabeth Maganga, Sylvester Kathumba, Hitoshi Murakami. "." PLoS One 13 , no. 8 (2018)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • MAM
Sigh S, Roos N, Sok D, Borg B, Chamnan C, Laillou A, Dijkhuizen MA, Wieringa FT.. "." Food and Nutrition Bulletin 39 , no. 8 (2018)
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Acceptability
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • SAM
  • MAM
Cambria M. Glosz, Andrew A. Schaffner, Scott K. Reaves, Mark J. Manary, and Peggy C. Papathakis. "." Nutrients 10 , no. 7 (2018) : 879
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
  • SAM
Briony Stevens, Kerrianne Watt, Julie Brimbecombe, Alan Clough, Jenni A. Judd, and Daniel Lindsay. " Background Prenatal balanced protein energy supplementation consumed by undernourished women improves mid-upper arm circumference in early infancy. This study aimed to identify whether locally produced maternal food-based supplementation improved anthropometric measures at birth and early infancy. Methods A village-matched evaluation, applying principles of a cluster randomised controlled trial, of a locally produced supplemental food to 87 undernourished pregnant women. 12 villages (intervention: n = 8; control: n = 4) in Pirganj sub-district, Rangpur District, northern Bangladesh. Daily supplements were provided. Results Anthropometric data at birth were available for 77 mother-infant dyads and longer-term infant growth data for 75 infants. Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) was significantly larger in infants of mothers in the intervention group compared with the control group at 6 months (p < 0.05). The mean birth weight in babies of supplemented mothers (mean: 2·91 kg; SD: 0·19) was higher than in babies of mothers in the control group (mean: 2·72 kg; SD: 0·13), and these changes persisted until 6 months. Also, the proportion of low birth weight babies in the intervention group was much lower (event rate = 0.04) than in the control group (event rate = 0.16). However, none of these differences were statistically significant (p > 0·05; most likely due to small sample size). The intervention reduced the risk of wasting at 6 months by 63.38% (RRR = 0.6338), and of low birth weight by 88·58% (RRR = 0.8858), with NNT of 2.22 and 6.32, respectively. Only three pregnant women require this intervention in order to prevent wasting at 6 months in one child, and seven need the intervention to prevent low birth weight of one child. Conclusions Locally produced food-based balanced protein energy supplementation in undernourished pregnant women in northern Bangladesh resulted in larger MUAC in infants at 6 months. Further research, with larger sample sizes, is required to confirm the role of locally produced supplementation for undernourished pregnant women on weight and linear growth in newborns and infants. ." BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 18 (2018) : 286
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Locally produced
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
  • MAM
Maku E Ocansey, Seth Adu-Afarwuah, Sika M Kumordzie, Harriet Okronipa, Rebecca R Young, Solace M Tamakloe, Brietta M Oaks, Kathryn G Dewey, and Elizabeth L Prado. "." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 109 , no. 2 (2019) : 322–334
Study Interventions
  • Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
  • Innovation
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
  • MAM
Jef L Leroy, Deanna Olney, Marie Ruel. "." The Journal of Nutrition 148 , no. 3 (2018) : 445–452
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • Stunted
Sika M Kumordzie, Seth Adu-Afarwuah, Mary Arimond, Rebecca R Young, Theodosia Adom, Rose Boatin, Maku E Ocansey, Harriet Okronipa, Elizabeth L Prado, Brietta M Oaks, and Kathryn G Dewey.. "." The Journal of Nutrition 149 , no. 5 (2019) : 847–855
Study Interventions
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Locally produced
Research Gaps
  • Effectiveness
Nutritional Problems being Studied
  • MAM