Journal article

Combining intensive counseling by frontline workers with a nationwide mass media campaign has large differential impacts on complementary feeding practices but not on child growth: results of a cluster-randomized evaluation (Menon P., 2016. J of Nutr)

31 Aug 16
Author(s)Purnima Menon, Phuong Hong Nguyen, Kuntal Kumar Saha, Adiba Khaled, Tina Sanghvi, Jean Baker, Kaosar Afsana, Raisul Haque, Edward A. Frongillo, Marie T. Ruel, and Rahul Rawat. 
Topic(s): Complementary feeding, Research
Location: Bangladesh
Language(s): English
Audience: Program designers and implementers
Programs: Community mobilization, Interpersonal communication, Mass communication, Social and behavior change, Strategic use of data

Complementary feeding (CF) contributes to child growth and development, but few CF programs are delivered at scale. Alive & Thrive (A&T) addressed this in Bangladesh through intensified interpersonal counseling (IPC), mass media (MM), and community mobilization (CM). This work was evaluated to show the impact of providing IPC + MM + CM (intensive) compared with standard nutrition counseling + less intensive MM + CM (non-intensive) on CF practices and anthropometric measurements. Complementary feeding improved significantly in the intensive compared to the non-intensive group for minimum dietary diversity, minimum meal frequency, minimum acceptable diet, and consumption of iron-rich foods. Largescale program delivery was feasible and, with the use of multiple platforms, reached 1.7 million households. This study establishes proof of concept for large-scale behavior change interventions to improve child feeding.