Vita Mamba School Snack

This project tested the effects of Vita Mamba on anemia and anthropometry among Haitian school aged children.

Location: North-East Department, Haiti

Collaborators: Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, Meds & Food for Kids

Description: Nutrition in the school-aged child matters for brain development and public policy investments globally. We aimed to test the hypothesis that Vita Mamba, with systematic deworming in both study arms, would significantly reduce anemia among ruralschool-aged children.

clusterrandomized longitudinal study was conducted in two rural communities of the North-East Department of Haiti, 2014-2015. Healthy children ages 3-16 years were enrolled (n = 321) and assigned by school to intervention (Vita Mamba and deworming) and control (deworming). Vita Mamba contains 260 kcal and meets >75% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for critical micronutrients. Multivariate regression analyses including propensity score matching techniques to correct for potential group imbalance (Kernel-based Matching and Propensity Score Weighting) were applied to examine difference-in-difference intervention effects.

Key Findings:

  • At baseline, 51% of the children were anemic with no significant differences between study groups.
  • Vita Mamba supplementation showed a consistent, positive effect across regression models on increasing Hb concentration and reducing the odds of anemia compared to the control group after adjusting for child age, vitamin A supplementation, milk consumption, and height-for-age z score.
  • School feeding programs that integrate fortified foods with deworming could reduce anemia burden with important implications for learning, health, and well-being. The rural-urban differences in anemia require further study.

Sponsor: United States Department of Agriculture


Fortified Snack Reduced Anemia in Rural School-Aged Children of Haiti: A Cluster Randomized, Controlled Trial. Iannotti L, Dulience S, Joseph S, Cooley C, Tufte T, Cox K, Eaton J, Delnatus J, Wolff P.  PLoS One. 2016

Ready-to-use supplementary food increases fat mass and BMI in Haitian school-age children. Iannotti L, Henretty N, Delnatus J, Previl W, Stehl T, Vorkoper S, Bodden J, Maust A, Smidt R, Nash M, Tamimie C, Owen B, Wolff P.  Journal of Nutrition. 2015

The Determinants of Anemia and Hemoglobin Concentration in Haitian School-Aged Children. Iannotti L, Delnatus J, Odom A, Eaton J, Griggs J, Brown S, Wolff P.  American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2015