• Journal Article

Acceptability of Two Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods by HIV-Positive Patients in Vietnam


Brown, M., Nga, T. T., Hoang, M-A., Maalouf-Manasseh, Z., Hammond, W., Thuc, T. M., ... Wieringa, F. T. (2015). Acceptability of Two Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods by HIV-Positive Patients in Vietnam. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 36(2), 102-110. DOI: 10.1177/0379572115587498


BACKGROUND: Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) has been found effective in treating severe acute malnutrition. Vietnam's National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), the Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD), and UNICEF collaborated to formulate a local RUTF called High-Energy Bar for Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (HEBI). RUTF might be useful to address malnutrition in HIV patients. OBJECTIVE: To compare the acceptability of the local RUTF and an imported RUTF among malnourished people with HIV in Vietnam Methods: The acceptability of HEBI and Plumpy'Nut was studied among 80 HIV-positive children and 80 HIV-positive adults. In a crossover design, participants were randomly assigned to receive either Plumpy'Nut or HEBI for 2 weeks and were switched to the other product for the subsequent 2 weeks. A third (control) group of about 40 HIV-positive participants in each study was randomly assigned to receive no RUTF. Nurses took anthropometric measurements weekly, and the subjects or their caregivers monitored daily RUTF intake. RESULTS: Children consumed 69% of HEBI and 65% of Plumpy'Nut (p = .13). Adults consumed 91% of HEBI and 81% of Plumpy'Nut (p = .059). Both children (p = .058) and adults (p </= .0001) preferred HEBI. Significant gains were observed in percent weight (p = .035), weight-for-age (p = .014), and body mass index (BMI)-for-age (p = .036) in children who received RUTF and in percent weight (p = .017) and BMI (p = .0048) in adults who received RUTF compared with the control groups. CONCLUSIONS: In this study in Vietnam, both HEBI and Plumpy'Nut were found acceptable by people with HIV