Effect of Zinc and Iron Supplementation on Appetite, Nutritional Status and Intelligence Quotient in Young Children

Aryu Candra Kusumastuti, Martha Ardiaria, Meita Hendrianingtyas


BACKGROUND: Lack of appetite in young children leads to growing incidences of physical and mental growth disorders. Supplementation of certain micronutrients can increase appetite and improve nutritional status. This study aims to analyze the effects of zinc and iron supplementation on appetite, nutritional status and intelligence quotient (IQ) in young children.

METHODS: An experimental study withrandomized control group pre/post-test design was conducted in Semarang, Indonesia. A total of 68 children were divided into four groups. The first group was the control group, which was given a placebo; the second group was given a zinc supplement at 10 mg/day; the third group was given an iron supplement at 7.5 mg/day; andthe fourth group was given zinc and iron for three months. Appetite was assessed based on eating frequency and energy intake. Nutritional status was assessed by weight per age (W/A) and height per age (H/A) z score. IQ score was assessed based on Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI).

RESULTS: Before intervention, low zinc intake was observed in 27.7% of the subjects and low iron intake was observed in 58.5% of them. After intervention, appetite in the second and fourth groups increased. W/A z score increased in the second and third groups. IQ score increased in the third group. No significant effect on H/A z score was observed in all groups.

CONCLUSION: Supplementation of zinc and iron for three months had a positive effect on appetite, body weight and IQ score but no significant effect on body height.

KEYWORDS: appetite, zinc, iron, growth

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18585/inabj.v10i2.365

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