Sprinkles is a nutritional supplement containing iron, zinc, vitamin A, folic acid, and vitamin C. Researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York traveled to Haiti to do the study.

First, the details.

  • 10 food distribution points were established.
  • All children (9 to 24 months old) received take-home rations of fortified wheat-soy blend (WSB).
  • They were also randomly assigned to receive or not receive Sprinkles-WSB.

And, the results.

  • For those who got the Sprinkles, anemia rates were reduced from 54% to 14% over 7 months.
  • Anemia rates remained unchanged in children who did not receive Sprinkles.

The bottom line?
Fortified food aid alone was insufficient to prevent anemia in infants and young children, even if mothers were advised to complement the donated commodities with locally available, iron-rich foods. The problem was they couldn’t afford the food.

However, the results show that it’s possible to integrate Sprinkles distribution and education into existing food aid programs, and mothers were receptive to using them.

“Sprinkles are one of the most promising innovations in nutrition today,” said lead author, Dr. Purnima Menon. “They offer an inexpensive option that mothers seem to love and children can consume easily.”

According to the Cornell press release, World Vision-Haiti currently assists mothers with purchasing Sprinkles from Population Services International, a social marketing firm, which markets them in Haiti under the name “Babyfer.”

7/30/07 19:52 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.