Effect of high-calorie formula on weight, height increment, IGF-1 and TLC in growth faltering children: A quasi-experimental study

Nur Aisiyah Widjaja, Azizah Hamida, Marisa Tulus Purnomo, Azarina Satjadibrata, Putri Permata Sari, Laksmi Suci Handini, Theresia Novi, Meta Herdiana Hanindita, Roedi Irawan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-calorie formulas have been used to promote catch-up growth in undernourished children. The level of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is closely related to weight and nutritional intake, whereas low a total lymphocyte count (TLC) is associated with impaired immune system function in undernourished children. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of high-calorie formula as an intervention on weight, height increment, IGF-1 and TLC in children with growth faltering or undernutrition. A quasi-experimental study with pre- and post-design was conducted in the outpatient clinic of a private hospital during October 2021–July 2022 on children with growth failure and underlying infection. For 90 days, subjects were given a high-calorie formula. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was then conducted to measure IGF-1, followed by a complete blood count examination. Subjects were divided into two groups based on age: Group 1 (12–24 months) and Group 2 (>24–60 months). There was a significant increment in body weight and body length/height after intervention but no significant difference between the groups. The increment of body length/height after intervention was greater in Group 1 than Group 2 (p = 0.000) and reduced the incidence of stunted/severely stunted and wasted/severely wasted children (p > 0.05). IGF-1 increased after the intervention but with no significant difference (1.42 ± 8.31 ng/ml; p = 0.144). There was a significant reduction in TLC after the intervention (1194.34 + 4400.34 cells/mm3; p = 0.002) that was reduced in Group 1 and slightly increased in Group 2 (p = 0.003). Being underweight/severely underweight increased the risk of a low TLC by 27.658-fold but this risk was reduced by 25.904-fold after nutritional intervention. High-calorie formula intervention increases body weight and body length/height, reduces the incidence of underweight, stunted and wasted children and improves IGF-1 levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28834
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • High-calorie formula
  • IGF-1
  • TLC
  • nutritional intervention
  • undernutrition


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