Marion Roche, Grace S. Marquis, PhD, Theresa W. Gyorkos, PhD, Brittany Blouin, MSc, Julieta Sarsoza, MD, and Harriet V. Kuhnlein, PhD.
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, Volume 49, Number 3.

Published: March 1, 2017


This study assessed the effectiveness of a Positive Deviance (PD)/Hearth community-based intervention by using local foods and peer-education to improve infant and young child nutrition.

To test the effectiveness of this model, a quasi-experimental non-randomized study was conducted in two Ecuadorian provinces. Mothers in the intervention group met in participatory peer-led PD/Hearth cooking and nutrition education sessions for 12 days. Afterwards, peer leaders (Madre Guias) made home visits to intervention homes every 2 weeks for 4 months.

Growth outcomes and mean dietary intakes were analyzed using multiple linear and logistic regression and ANCOVA respectively. Mothers in the intervention group were 1.3-5.7 times more likely to feed their children the promoted foods. Children in the intervention consumed a higher percentage of recommended intakes for iron, zinc, vitamin A, protein and energy and likelihood of underweight was reduced for children in the intervention.

The PD/Hearth interventions supported mothers to improve infant and young children’s nutrition practices and reduce underweight.


Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour





Children Under Five

Resource Type