Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 176–183 | Cite as

Short-Term Evaluation of the Impact of a Fortified Food Aid Program on the Micronutrient Nutritional Status of Argentinian Pregnant Women

  • Agustina Malpeli
  • María Guillermina Ferrari
  • Ana Varea
  • Mariana Falivene
  • Graciela Etchegoyen
  • María Vojkovic
  • Estéban Carmuega
  • Liliana Disalvo
  • María Apezteguía
  • Silvia Pereyras
  • Andrea Tournier
  • Daniel Vogliolo
  • Horacio F. GonzalezEmail author


We studied the impact of a food supplementation program (Plan Más Vida (PMV)) on the micronutrient nutritional condition of pregnant women from low-income families 1 year after its implementation. The food program provided supplementary diet (wheat and maize—fortified flour, rice or sugar, and fortified soup). We performed a prospective, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, evaluating pregnant women at baseline (n = 164) and 1 year after PMV implementation (n = 108). Biochemical tests (hemogram, ferritin, vitamin A, zinc, and folic acid), anthropometric assessments (weight and height), and dietary surveys (24 h recall) were performed at the two study points. One year after PMV implementation, no significant changes in anthropometric values were observed. Folic acid deficiency and the risk of vitamin A deficiency (retinol, 20–30 μg/dl) decreased significantly (35.8 to 6.1 % and 64 to 41 %, respectively; p < 0.000). Anemia and prevalence of iron and zinc deficiency values did not change. Diet survey results showed that although nutrient intake increased significantly, it was still below recommendations. Implementation of the PMV and of the government nutritional strategies had a high impact on the prevalence of folic acid deficiency. We also observed a decrease in the risk of vitamin A deficiency, and no impact on iron and zinc nutritional status. Adherence to the specific fortified food (soup) was not good and intra-family dilution and distribution of food was high.


Feeding programs Pregnant women Anemia Micronutrients Nutritional evaluation Argentina 



This work was supported by CICPBA and Ministry of Human Development, Province of Buenos Aires. The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Research Protocol Review Board of the Instituto de Desarrollo e Investigaciones Pediátricas “Prof. Dr. Fernando E. Viteri”, La Plata’s Children Hospital. All subjects gave their written informed consent to participate in the study. AT and DB are research residents of the Ministry of Health of the Province of Buenos Aires. The authors are grateful to professionals from the Food Program Department (Ministry of Human Development), Andrea Touza for logistics support, and Adriana Di Maggio for careful manuscript edition.

Author Contribution

All authors contributed to the implementation of the study. AM, AV, GE, MV, EC, and LD were responsible for study design, methods, data collection, and analysis. HFG was the clinical supervisors of the study. SP, AT, LD, and DB performed biochemical assessments. AM and AV supervised nutrition field activities. AM, GF, MF, and HFG wrote the first draft of the paper. MA undertook statistical data analyses.

Conflict of Interest

None of the authors had a conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agustina Malpeli
    • 1
  • María Guillermina Ferrari
    • 1
  • Ana Varea
    • 1
  • Mariana Falivene
    • 1
  • Graciela Etchegoyen
    • 2
  • María Vojkovic
    • 3
  • Estéban Carmuega
    • 3
  • Liliana Disalvo
    • 1
  • María Apezteguía
    • 1
  • Silvia Pereyras
    • 1
  • Andrea Tournier
    • 1
  • Daniel Vogliolo
    • 1
  • Horacio F. Gonzalez
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.IDIP—Instituto de Desarrollo e Investigaciones Pediátricas “Prof. D. Fernando E. Viteri”Hospital de Niños de La Plata, (MS/CICPBA)La PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Cátedra de Epidemiología, Facultad de Cs. MédicasUNLPLa PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas de la Provincia de Buenos AiresLa PlataArgentina

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