Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Rodney, Lyn PhD

Second Advisor

Murugi, Ndirangu, PhD

Third Advisor

Sarah Connell Evers, MPh


Undernutrition is a major public health problem, contributing to 33% of deaths in infants and young children globally. In Kygryzstan, Central Asia, Mercy Corps provided 6 metric tons of rice, flour and oil as well as nutritional education to kindergartens in 40 rural regions, serving 41,000 children, for one year. Anthropometric measurements were collected at the beginning and end of the program. Children, who were stunted, wasted and underweight at baseline, recovered by follow-up, with rates of recovery of 50%, 65% and 50%, respectively. The prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight in the population decreased from 13.8%, 3.4% and 3.2%, respectively, to 8.6%, 2.1% and 2.3%, respectively. This study shows that preschool feeding programs have the potential to improve nutritional outcome. These results are particularly significant as the dearth of research on preschool feeding’s impact on growth and nutrition has led to this particular intervention being deemed ineffective for improvement of nutritional outcome.