Interpreting a Research Article
The article, “Effect of iron-, iodine-, and b-carotene–fortified biscuits on the micronutrient status of primary school children: a randomized controlled trial1” provided sufficient background information as to why this study is important. The article first stated that 33% of children aged six and younger are deficient in Vitamin A. The consequences of Vitamin A deficiency are exophthalmia, childhood blindness, impairing immune responses and affecting iron metabolism. The article then states that iodine deficiencies can effect mental development and children’s learning abilities. Iodine deficiencies can also lead to mental retardation and to milder forms of motor and cognitive deficiencies. Lastly, the article explains that supplementing iron has shown positive correlations on cognitive performances in all children. The consequence of iron deficiency is greater susceptibility to infections. These are all the reasons as to why this study is important because the article explains that these deficiencies have harmfully affected many children’s lives. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of a biscuit fortified with iron, iodine and B- carotene on students living in an area with high micronutrient deficiencies. The study population was on children aged six through eleven who attended the Ndunakazi Primary School.
Subjects & Methods
These students were randomly put into two groups, the control group and the intervention group. The intervention group received the biscuit fortified with nutrients, while the control group received a biscuit with the same appearance and taste but without the nutrients fortified into it. This is the study design method they used. The researchers received permission from all the students’ parents before any action was taken. Based on secondary malnutrion, all the children were de-wormed before the study took place so the results were not affected. Secondary malnutrion could have effected and altered the results if parasitic infestations were not taken care of. The researcher’s maintained compliance by keeping a close eye on the children at all times. If a student was absent it was recorded by trained professionals. During the time of distribution of the biscuits and cold drinks the children were monitored closely and were separated by their groups. The students were not allowed to leave their seat until they had finished their food to ensure that everyone ate their food and did not try to manipulate the study. Results Many of the results in the intervention group were significantly different from the control group once the study was concluded. Some examples of these differences are the percentage of children with low serum retinol concentrations in the intervention group decreased from 39.1% before the interventionto 12.2% after 12 months of intervention, while the control group remainedat < 40% in the control group. Another significant difference was the percentage of children with low serum ferritin…