Linear programming: a mathematical tool for analyzing and optimizing children's diets during the complementary feeding period.


Briend, A; Darmon, N; Ferguson, E; Erhardt, JG; (2003) Linear programming: a mathematical tool for analyzing and optimizing children's diets during the complementary feeding period. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 36 (1). pp. 12-22. ISSN 0277-2116 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1097/00005176-200301000-00006

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Abstract

During the complementary feeding period, children require a nutrient-dense diet to meet their high nutritional requirements. International interest exists in the promotion of affordable, nutritionally adequate complementary feeding diets based on locally available foods. In this context, two questions are often asked: 1) is it possible to design a diet suitable for the complementary feeding period using locally available food? and 2) if this is possible, what is the lowest-cost, nutritionally adequate diet available? These questions are usually answered using a "trial and error" approach. However, a more efficient and rigorous technique, based on linear programming, is also available. It has become more readily accessible with the advent of powerful personal computers. The purpose of this review, therefore, is to inform pediatricians and public health professionals about this tool. In this review, the basic principles of linear programming are briefly examined and some practical applications for formulating sound food-based nutritional recommendations in different contexts are explained. This review should facilitate the adoption of this technique by international health professionals.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
PubMed ID: 12499991
Web of Science ID: 180143400005
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/7751

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