The study, published in the June edition of the Food Nutrition Research journal focused on Amide, Palabek, and Padibe primary schools in Kitgum District. Researchers from the University of Akansas studied the effect of egg supplementation on growth parameters in children participating in a school feeding program.
The study, published in the June edition of the Food & Nutrition Research journal focused on Amide, Palabek, and Padibe primary schools in Kitgum District. Researchers from the University of Akansas studied the effect of egg supplementation on growth parameters in children participating in a school feeding program.
During the research, school children between 6 and 8 years, were provided with hard-boiled eggs five days a week and their growth was tracked by measuring height, weight, mid-upper arm circumference and tricep skinfold thickness. The researchers also provided eggs to other pupils in the class so as not to make them feel excluded from their peers.
The study found that all students grew in both height and weight, but children who had two eggs a day had significantly higher growth at the end of the six months than those who had no eggs or one egg. For example, children who had no eggs grew in height an average of 2.3 centimeters.
Those with one egg grew 2.5 centimeters while those with two eggs grew 3.4 centimeters. Jamie Baum, the Assistant Professor of Nutrition for the University Of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture, said micronutrients like vitamins and minerals that many in the developed countries take for granted in their meals - are critical to physical and cognitive development.
These results suggest that supplementation with eggs can improve parameters of growth in school- age children participating in school feeding programs in rural Uganda.
Malnutrition remains highest among children younger than five years of age across the country. The suggestion to provide eggs as part of the school feeding comes at the time when many schools are still struggling to sustain the existing school feeding programs.
Studies from Ministry of Health and National Planning Authority indicate that Forty-five percent of childhood deaths in Uganda are attributed to malnutrition as the underlying cause and its economic cost remains high; for example, the total cost of under nutrition was estimated to amount to 56% of Uganda's gross domestic product (GDP).
The National Planning Authority in 2015 launched the national nutrition planning guidelines that recognize the role of good nutrition in the socio-economic development of a nation and realization of Vision 2040. The nutrition planning guidelines say school feeding serves a dual purpose of providing a channel for distributing food to children of low-income families and being an incentive for such families to send their children to school.
They note that poor nutrition early in life leads to poor school performance as people with higher levels of education tend to have better health outcomes.