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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611

Abstract

OLIVEIRA ASSIS, Ana Marlúcia et al. Effectiveness of the Brazilian Conditional Cash Transfer Program - Bolsa Alimentação - on the variation of linear and ponderal increment in children from northeast of Brazil. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.6, pp.2786-2794. ISSN 1699-5198.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2015.31.2.7909.

Background: social programs can improve the conditions required for families provide sufficient care and attention for an adequate health and nutrition. Objective: This study evaluates the effectiveness of the Brazilian's conditional cash transfer program - Bolsa Alimentação (PBA) on children anthropometric status. Methods: a cohort of 1847 children, followed for 12 months: 1615 PBA children; 232 non-PBA. There were 316 (14.6%) missing children during the study. A quasi- experimental study adopting the before-after strategy was applied and the effectiveness approach was used to assess the impact of the program on children nutritional status. Multilevel analysis with three levels was used in the statistical analysis. The mean increment variations of height-for-age and weight-for-age were the outcome variables and the participation in the PBA was the exposition. Four participation groups were established: children not exposed to the program (internal control group); exposed to the program throughout the 12 months, exposed to the program only in the last 6 months; and exposed to the program only in the first 6 months. Repeated measures were obtained at baseline and at 12 months. Results: it was found that the exposure to the program was associated to a mean variation in weight-for-age of 0.34 Z-score (IC = 0.04; 0.63) and height-for-age of 0.38 (IC = 0.05; 0.70) for children who were regular program beneficiaries during the follow-up. The exposure to the program in other periods was not statistically associated with a mean variation in the indicators. Conclusions: Cash transfers direct to the family were associated to anthropometric deficits reduction in childhood.

Keywords : Conditional cash transfer program; Brazilian's Program Bolsa Alimentação (PBA); Program evaluation; Child growth; Effectiveness; Quasi-experimental study.

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