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Keywords:

  • soya-beans;
  • malnutrition

Protein-energy malnutrition is still highly prevalent in the developing countries due to the decline in breast-feeding and early introduction of overdiluted and often contaminated commercial milk products, use of weaning foods which are low in energy and nutrients, a high prevalence of diarrhoea and infections. An ideal food for the prevention and management of malnutrition should be of high nutritive value, acceptable to the children and their mothers, readily available at a cheap rate, easy to prepare and well tolerated both in health and disease. Soya-beans fulfill these conditions. It is furthermore easily processed and can be combined with a variety of foods to increase nutritive value and make them ideal both as a staple and as a weaning food. Soy-milk as well as a combination of soya-beans with maize pap “soyogi”, have been found to be valuable in the management of malnutrition. In our preliminary results, home made “soyogi” was found to be as good as the more expensive commercial soy-milk product in the dietary management of acute diarrhoea in children. The children on “soyogi” tended to have a shorter duration of diarrhoea, decreased number of stools, and increased weight gain. The use of soya-beans both as soy-milk and as “soyogi” among other formulations in the homes is recommended for prevention and management of malnutrition.