Journal of Food and Nutritional DisordersISSN: 2324-9323

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Efficacy of Millet Based Product on Management of Geophagy: A Randomized Control Trial

Efficacy of Millet Based Product on Management of Geophagy: A Randomized Control Trial

Geophagy is a widespread practice in Kenya, this practice was reported by more than 70% of school children aged 10-18 years in Kenya. Geophagy significantly increases the risk of infestation with Ascaris. Eating soil can also physically damage the intestinal mucosa and reduce ability to absorb nutrients. Soil can also effectively bind and remove nutrients that were already present in diet particularly iron and zinc. Despite this, little has been done to combat the problem of geophagy. Traditional foods have huge benefits to human health; however, they are generally uncultivated and under–utilized. This study aimed at utilizing traditional foods – Millet Amaranth and Termite (MAT) snack in helping combat geophagy. A randomized control trial design was done on 58 geophagic adolescent girls, of ages 13 -20 in secondary a boarding school in Likuyani District of Kakamega County, Western Kenya. The treatment group was given Millet-Amaranth-Termite snack, anti- helminthes treatment and malaria prophylaxis; the control group was given anti- helminthes treatment and malaria prophylaxis. Mean and Frequencies were used to summarize data on the socio demographic and nutrition data of the respondents. Chi-square tests were done to test the differences between the treatment group and control group on categorical variables. The intervention reduced the geophagy practice by 96%. The girls who received the intervention had a significant increase in hematological characteristics at the end of the intervention. The prevalence of geophagy may therefore be reduced by giving a food substitute to soil.

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