PROJECT GROW SMART
Growsmart is an integrated early learning and multiple micronutrient supplementation trial in Telangana, India.
This project evaluated the benefits of micronutrient supplementation on cognitive and socio-emotional development in young children. There was a positive and significant effect on expressive language, inhibitory control, and child behavior in the group of children who received micronutrients compared to those who only received placebo among children in low quality Anganwadi centers (daycare centers). There was also a significant improvement in development scores and iron status in the infant group that received micronutrient supplementation.
TEA PICKER STUDY
LOCATION: West Bengal
The objective of this project was to demonstrate nutritional status improvement, cognitive benefits and work productivity when iron status is improved by providing iron via double fortified salt (salt fortified with iron and iodine) to reproductive age women working on a tea plantation.
In India, an estimated 52% of non-pregnant women of reproductive age are anemic; and many cases are due to iron deficiency. Identifying inexpensive access to improved iron nutrition in populations that are poor and marginalized is challenging, and salt has proven effective in reducing iodine deficiencies in these populations. Fortification of salt with iron is a promising vehicle because it uses current infrastructure to produce and distribute a commonly and inexpensive food. This study used microencapsulated ferrous fumarate that had previously proven efficacious to reduce anemia and increasing body iron stores and ferritin.
The study demonstrated that participants receiving the double fortified salt showed significant improvements compared with controls in hemoglobin, ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor, and body iron. The women who received the double fortified salt had improvement in cognitive abilities. Data regarding work productivity (amount of tea leaves picked and efficiency of picking) is still being analyzed and interpreted.