According to a new research, giving weaned babies an egg every day could help them grow bigger, taller, and healthier, especially if they are undernourished.
The new study was carried out in Ecuador, a country confronting a widespread growth stunting problem. Research was conducted in the Ecuadorian Andes and involved around 160 babies aged 6 to 9 months old.
These had all been recently weaned. As part of the study, 80 of them were given an egg every day over six months. The remaining 80 babies continued being fed according to their usual diet. Study results are available in a paper in the journal Pediatrics.
An Egg Every Day Can Help Increase Growth Chances
The study team noted that the babies fed with an egg on a daily basis were twice more likely to growth bigger, taller, and healthier when compared to the other group. Also, researchers point out that this is the first controlled and randomized study to analyze the effects of eggs on stunting.
“It’s no single nutrient in the eggs but rather the whole package of amino acids and fatty acids, and also vitamins like and choline and B12,” states Lora Iannotti.
She is the study’s author and part of Washington University in St. Louis. Stunting is one of the main issues that the World Health Assembly is planning on overcoming by 2025. Babies with a stunted growth tend to develop into smaller children and then rather reduced height adults.
Stunting was also associated with a reduced lifespan and even cognitive development problems. As such, the study team considers that eggs could be both a promising and somewhat cheap way of dealing with stunting. Especially so in countries in which this is a big problem.
Also, the team detected an unexpected other effect of eating an egg a day. Babies with such a dietary plan also consumed less sugar and sugar-sweetened foods. Iannotti states that the study wasn’t looking or expecting such an effect.
They also have yet to establish a cause and effect relation for this finding. Still, they believe that the sensation of being filled decrease the kids’ appetite for other foods.
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