a1 Centre de Recherche en Sciences Biologiques, Alimentaires et Nutritionnelles (CRSBAN), Université de Ouagadougou 03, BP7021 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso
a2 Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands
a3 Helen Keller International, Représentation au Niger, BP 11728 Niamey, Niger
Objective To assess the effectiveness of a behaviour change approach, with or without financial support, in improving vitamin A (VA) intake and serum retinol concentration through mango and liver consumption by children.
Design A parallel design (no control area) was used to assess changes in VA intake and serum retinol over a 15-week period.
Setting and subjects A pilot study was implemented in the Department of Kokologho, a rural area in central west Burkina Faso. One hundred and fifty children aged 2–3 years were randomly selected and assigned to two treatment groups: PA$$ (promotional activities and financial support) and PA (promotional activities).
Results The intervention significantly increased (P<0.001) total VA intake by 56% in PA$$ and by 50% in PA. VA intake from liver increased significantly (P<0.001) from 12.7±23.5 to 155.3±56.3 μg retinol activity equivalents (RAE) in PA$$ and from 21.6±29.7 to 135.3±44.9 μg RAE in PA. Changes in VA intake from liver were significantly higher (P=0.004) in PA$$ compared with PA. Mean serum retinol concentration increased significantly by 26% (P<0.001) in PA$$ and 30% (P<0.001) in PA. Changes in serum retinol concentration (0.13 μmol l−1 in PA$$ vs. 0.17 μmol l−1 and in PA) did not differ significantly (P=0.455) between groups over the intervention.
Conclusion Promotional activities on mango and liver intake effectively increased VA intake and serum retinol concentrations. Although an additional beneficial effect of financial support on liver intake was observed, this did not translate into a further increase in serum retinol concentration.
(Received June 09 2005)
(Accepted November 21 2005)