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Meat-supplemented diets healthy for children


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
New research suggests that adding small portions of meat daily can improve both the children's health and performance on cognitive tests.

Scientists discussed the merits of "animal source foods" such as meat and milk as well as other approaches to diet supplementation and fortification during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

"The diets of the poor are largely cereal-based, monotonous and lacking in diversity and micronutrients," said Montague Demment, director of the Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program. "In the modern world, we need to figure out how to get nutrients into people and do it in the proper context," he said.

In a two-year study in rural Kenya, completed in 2003, scientists supplemented the usual corn- and bean-based lunches of several hundred school children with meat, milk or an equivalent amount of energy from vegetable oils.

Children in all three groups, whether they received meat, milk or oil, gained about 400 grams more weight and increased their upper-arm muscle mass compared to classmates who received no supplements. But the children who received the 68-gram meat supplement (2 ounces) also performed significantly better than all the groups on a test of problem-solving ability and fluid intelligence.