Effect of Oral Nutritional Supplementation on Growth in Vietnamese Children with Stunting

Dung T. Pham1, *, Trong N. Hoang1, Nhu T. Ngo1, Long H. Nguyen2, Trung Q. Tran2, Hanh M. Pham1, Dieu T. T. Huynh3, Nhung T. Ninh1
1 Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 373 Ly Bon, Thai Binh Province, Vietnam
2 Vietnam Food Safety Department, 138A, Giang Vo, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, Vietnam
3 Abbott Nutrition Research and Development Asia-Pacific Center, Singapore 138668, Singapore



The impact of oral nutritional supplementations (ONS) is not well-elucidated in children with stunting.


The aim is to evaluate the effect of ONS on growth in Vietnamese children with stunting.


This 6-month, prospective, single-arm trial evaluated 121 children aged 24–48 months with stunting (height-for-age z-score [HAZ] < -2) and low weight-for-height z-score (WHZ < -1) in Vietnam. Children consumed ONS twice daily. The outcomes included the change in HAZ, WHZ, and weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) from baseline to 3- and 6 months; change in height and weight from baseline to 3- and 6 months; and the prevalence of stunting, wasting (WHZ < -2 SD), and underweight (WAZ < -2 SD) at 6 months. We also examined factors associated with a change in HAZ over the intervention period.


The mean age was 34.7 months and 49% were male. Height and weight increased from baseline to 3- and 6-months (p<0.0001). There was a significant increase in median HAZ (0.25 units), WHZ (0.72 units), and WAZ (0.65 units) from baseline to 6 months (p<0.0001). Notably, approximately 40% of children recovered from stunting at 6 months (p<0.0001). The prevalence of wasting and underweight status were also significantly lower at 6 months (p=0.0310 and p<0.0001, respectively) relative to the baseline. Lower HAZ and younger age at baseline were significantly associated with higher linear growth at 6 months.


ONS helped improve linear and ponderal growth and reduce the prevalence of stunting, wasting, and underweight status in stunted children at risk of wasting.

Keywords: Stunting, Oral nutritional supplement, Undernutrition, Growth, Catch-up, Wasting, Underweight.

Abstract Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2019
Volume: 13
First Page: 1
Last Page: 00
Publisher Item Identifier: EA-TONUTRJ-2019-4

Article History:

Received Date: 10/06/2019
Revision Received Date: 30/09/2019
Acceptance Date: 02/10/2019
Electronic publication date: 21/11/2019
Collection year: 2019

© 2019 Pham et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy Nutrition and Food Safety Department, No. 373, Ly Bon Street, Thai Binh city, Thai Binh province, 410000, Vietnam; Tel: 84 989981359;
Fax: 84 2273 847509; E-mail: dungpt@tbmc.edu.vn