In France, Danone is a founding member of and supporter to the Malin programme, which aims to promote healthy habits among infants aged 0 to 3 from French low-income families. It relies on dietary education, breastfeeding promotion and access to adapted foods (fresh F&V and baby food).
It was designed in 2009-2011 by 10 partners from both public and private sectors. It aims to recruit and to follow low-income families in local health centres to improve their infant’s dietary habits. The Malin program is implemented with local administrations and local non-governmental associations in order to account for existing initiatives and to find the most appropriate adaptation according to the local situation and priorities.
The building blocks of the program are:
- Training of staff of local health centres
- Regular visits of the parents at the local Mother and Child Health Centre (PMI in French) for counselling by social workers and dissemination of documents on healthy diet for pregnant women and infants.
- Weekly distribution of fresh fruits & vegetables in local centres.
- Regular mailing of vouchers to access baby food when the baby is 6 months old until 24 months.
In 2016, the preparatory work for the MALIN Evaluation Study has been completed in view of its launch in 2017. The design of the study corresponds to a randomized controlled trial of 800 pregnant women identified as socio-economically disadvantaged. Recruitment will occur during the last trimester of pregnancy and follow-up will span birth to 24 months of age.
In 2016, the following tasks have been completed:
– review of the family recruitment process
– review and finalization of study documents
– contract ratified by all the partners
– finalization of operational issues
– field team recruitment
– first article publication
– inscription on ClinicalTrial.gov