Efficacy and safety of therapeutic nutrition products for home based therapeutic nutrition for severe acute malnutrition: a systematic review

This review assesses the efficacy and safety of home based management of SAM using therapeutic nutrition products or ready to use therapeutic foods (RUTF); and compares the efficacy of these products in comparison with F-100 (the standard facility based treatment) and home-based diet. The results indicate that systematic reviews and Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) showed RUTF to be at least as efficacious as F-100 in increasing weight and more effective in comparison to home based dietary therapies. Data from observational studies showed the energy intake with RUTF to be comparable to F-100 and two consensus statements supported the use of RUTF for home based management of uncomplicated SAM. The author concludes that use of therapeutic nutrition products for home based management of uncomplicated SAM appears to be safe and efficacious. However, most of the evidence on this promising strategy has emerged from observational studies conducted in emergency settings in Africa and so more evidence is needed on other contexts.

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