Improving the health and education of elementary schoolchildren in rural China : iron supplementation versus nutritional training for parents

Ho Lun WONG, Yaojiang SHI, Renfu LUO, Linxiu ZHANG, Scott ROZELLE

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report on the results of a randomised controlled trial conducted among over 2,000 children in 60 elementary schools in rural Shaanxi Province, North-west China. We find that providing children with daily iron supplements for six months improved children’s haemoglobin levels and standardised maths scores. In comparison, educating parents about nutrition and anaemia in a special parents meeting produced a modest impact on children’s haemoglobin levels. We also find heterogeneous intervention effects by children’s gender, anaemia status and boarding status. Overall, iron supplementation is more effective. However, given its low cost and simple implementation, parental education should still be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-519
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Volume50
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jan 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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anemia
hemoglobin
schoolchild
parents
education
iron
China
health
nutrition
supplement
elementary school
gender
costs
cost
comparison
effect
trial
province
school

Cite this

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Improving the health and education of elementary schoolchildren in rural China : iron supplementation versus nutritional training for parents. / WONG, Ho Lun; SHI, Yaojiang; LUO, Renfu; ZHANG, Linxiu; ROZELLE, Scott.

In: Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 50, No. 4, 2014, p. 502-519.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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AB - We report on the results of a randomised controlled trial conducted among over 2,000 children in 60 elementary schools in rural Shaanxi Province, North-west China. We find that providing children with daily iron supplements for six months improved children’s haemoglobin levels and standardised maths scores. In comparison, educating parents about nutrition and anaemia in a special parents meeting produced a modest impact on children’s haemoglobin levels. We also find heterogeneous intervention effects by children’s gender, anaemia status and boarding status. Overall, iron supplementation is more effective. However, given its low cost and simple implementation, parental education should still be considered.

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