Impact of cowpea fortified cookies on anthropometric and micronutrient status of primary school children: A randomized, single-blind controlled trial

  • Rufina N.B. Ayogu
  • Tochukwu P. Onah
Keywords: Cookies, cowpea, fortification, micronutrient status, school children


Background: Micronutrient deficiencies are public health problems among school children. Food‑to‑food fortification may reduce the prevalence of these deficiencies.

Aim: To assess the impact of cowpea (Vigna sinensis) fortified cookies on weight, height, body mass index (BMI), hemoglobin, serum vitamin A, and zinc status of primary school children aged 6–12 years.

Methods: A randomized single‑blind controlled trial was conducted for 4 weeks among 17 pupils who were voluntarily recruited and randomly assigned to experimental (Group A) and control (Group B) groups. Group A was fed wheat cookies incorporated with cowpea in a ratio of 60:40, while Group B received 100% wheat cookies. Data were collected through questionnaire, anthropometry, and biochemical analysis. Statistical analysis involved descriptive statistics and t‑test. Significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: The study involved 17 school children out of which 10 (58.8%) were boys and 7 (41.2%) were girls; 12 (70.6%) were 10–12 years old and 4 (23.5%) were in lower primary (1–3). Group A had increases in hemoglobin (15.5%), serum ferritin (28.3%), serum zinc (38.9%), weight (3.0%), BMI (3.4%), and serum vitamin A (26.3%); only increases in hemoglobin, serum ferritin, and vitamin A attained significance (P < 0.05). Though there was increase in weight (6.1%), BMI (5.4%), hemoglobin (5.0%), serum ferritin (16.4%), zinc (20.8%), and vitamin A (17.5%) of Group B, these increases were not significant (P > 0.05). Group A had significantly (P < 0.05) higher serum ferritin (51.3 μg/L) than Group B (44.7 μg/L).

Conclusion: Consumption of cowpea fortified cookies had significant positive effects on hemoglobin, serum ferritin, and vitamin A levels of school children and should be encouraged at household and industrial levels.

Keywords: Cookies, cowpea, fortification, micronutrient status, school children


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-3077