Journal Articles

Vitamin B-12 status in infancy is positively associated with development and cognitive functioning 5 y later in Nepalese children

Published: March 2017 Authors: Ingrid Kvestad, Mari Hysing, Merina Shrestha, Manjeswori Ulak, Andrew Thorne-Lyman, Sigrun Henjum, Per Ueland, Oyvind Midttun, Wafaie Fawzi, Ram Chandyo, Prakash Shrestha, Tor Strand Publisher: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
We measured the associations between vitamin B-12 status in infancy (2–12 mo) and the development and cognitive functioning in Nepalese children 5 y later. Vitamin B-12 status was assessed in infancy with the use of plasma cobalamin, total homocysteine (tHcy), and methylmalonic acid (MMA). At 5 y of age, we measured development with the use of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, 3rd edition (ASQ- 3), and cognitive functioning by using the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, 2nd edition (NEPSY II), in 320 children. In regression models, we estimated Continue reading →

Charting the cost of nutritionally-adequate diets in Uganda, 2000-2011

Published: March 2017 Authors: George Omiat, Gerald Shively Publisher: African Journ. of Food, Ag, Nutr, & Development
Although malnutrition rates have been on the decline in Uganda over the past two decades, they remain high. Challenges to achieving nutritional improvements result, in part, from high staple foods prices, which raise the cost of the food basket and increase the risk of food and nutrition insecurity, especially for poor households who are net buyers of staple foods. Nearly two-thirds of Ugandan households are net buyers of staples, a pattern that highlights the potential importance of food prices as a key driver of food Continue reading →

Erythrocyte fatty acid composition of Nepal breast-fed infants

Published: January 2017 Authors: Sigrun Henjum, Oyvind Lie, Manjeswori Ulak, Andrew Thorne-Lyman, Ram Chandyo, Prakash Shrestha, Wafaie Fawzi, Tor Strand, Marian Kjellevold Publisher: European Journal of Nutrition
Essential fatty acids play a critical role in the growth and development of infants, but little is known about the fatty acid status of populations in low-income countries. The objective was to describe the fatty acid composition of red blood cells (RBC) in breastfeed Nepali infants and a subsample of their mothers and to identify the main sources of fatty acids in the mother’s diet, as well as the fatty acid composition of breast milk.

Nutrition Smoothing: Can Proximity to Towns and Cities Protect Rural Children against Seasonal Variation in Agroclimatic Conditions at Birth?

Published: January 2017 Authors: Amelia F. Darrouzet-Nardi, Willliam A. Masters Publisher: Plos One
A large literature links early-life environmental shocks to later outcomes. This paper uses seasonal variation across the Democratic Republic of the Congo to test for nutrition smoothing, defined here as attaining similar height, weight and mortality outcomes despite different agroclimatic conditions at birth. We find that gaps between siblings and neighbors born at different times of year are larger in more remote rural areas, farther from the equator where there are greater seasonal differences in rainfall and temperature. For those born at adverse times in Continue reading →

Food insecurity, but not HIV-infection status, is associated with adverse changes in body composition during lactation in Ugandan women of mixed HIV status

Published: January 2017 Authors: Elizabeth Widen, Shalean Collins, Hijab Khan, Claire Biribawa, Daniel Acidri, Winifred Achoko, Harriet Achola, Shibani Ghosh, Jeffrey Griffiths, Sera Young Publisher: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
A cohort of 246 women [36.5% of whom were HIV positive (HIV+) and were receiving ART] were followed to 12 mo postpartum. Repeated measures included weight, fat mass, fat-free mass, mid upper arm circumference, triceps skin fold thickness [which allowed for the derivation of arm muscle area (AMA) and arm fat area (AFA)], breastfeeding, and individual food insecurity. Longitudinal regression models were constructed to assess associations between HIV and food insecurity and changes in body composition over time.

Individual, household, and community level risk factors of stunting in children younger than 5 years: Findings from a national surveillance system in Nepal

Published: January 2017 Authors: Jamie Dorsey, Swetha Manohar, Sumanta Neupane, Binod Shrestha, Rolf Klemm, Keith West Publisher: Maternal and Child Nutrition
Stunting (height‐for‐age z‐score [HAZ] < −2) affects close to a quarter of the world’s child population younger than 5 years, with South Asia bearing over half of the childhood‐stunting burden. Stunting both reflects chronic undernutrition and sustained resource‐constrained environments and is often associated with an increased risk of impaired cognition, reduced economic productivity, poor health outcomes throughout the life cycle, and poor survival overall. In recent years, efforts to prevent stunting have been among the leading priorities of governments, donors, and civil society organizations, reflected Continue reading →

Markets, transportation infrastructure and food prices in Nepal

Published: December 2016 Authors: Gerald Shively, Ganesh Thapa Publisher: American Journal of Agricultural Economics
We study transportation infrastructure and food markets in Nepal over the period 2002 to 2010, combining monthly price data from 37 local and regional markets and 7 Indian border markets. We use a series of autoregressive models to study price determination, spatial and temporal price transmission, and price variance. We account for district-level agricultural production, correcting for bi-directional causality between output and prices using ground station rainfall data. In addition, to test hypotheses regarding the importance of transportation infrastructure we incorporate information on road and Continue reading →

Climatic conditions and child height: Sex-specific vulnerability and the protective effects of sanitation and food markets in Nepal

Published: December 2016 Authors: Prajula Mulmi, Steven Block, Gerald Shively, William A. Masters Publisher: Economics & Human Biology
Abstract Environmental conditions in early life are known to have impacts on later health outcomes, but causal mechanisms and potential remedies have been difficult to discern. This paper uses the Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys of 2006 and 2011, combined with earlier NASA satellite observations of variation in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) at each child’s location and time of birth to identify the trimesters of gestation and periods of infancy when climate variation is linked to attained height later in life. We find Continue reading →

Low Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency among Nepalese Infants Despite High Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency among Their Mothers

Published: December 2016 Authors: Johanne Haugen, Ram Chandyo, Sigrun Henjum, Andrew Thorne-Lyman, Per Magne Ueland, Prakash Shrestha, Tor Strand Publisher: Nutrients
Describing vitamin D status and its predictors in various populations is important in order to target public health measures. Objectives: To describe the status and predictors of vitamin D status in healthy Nepalese mothers and infants. Methods: 500 randomly selected Nepalese mother and infant pairs were included in a cross-sectional study. Plasma 25(OH)D concentrations were measured by LC-MS/MS and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify predictors of vitamin D status. Results: Among the infants, the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (25(OH)D <50 nmol/L) Continue reading →

Optimizing the Multisectoral Nutrition Policy Cycle: A Systems Perspective

Published: December 2016 Authors: Sascha Lamstein, Amanda Pomeroy-Stevens, Patrick Webb, Eileen Kennedy Publisher: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Based on the data collected in Uganda, Nepal, and Ethiopia, the papers included in this supplement fill a critical gap in evidence regarding multisectoral National Nutrition Action Plans. The studies offer new data and new thinking on how and why governance, effective financial decentralization, and improved accountability all matter for nutrition actions in low-income countries. This introductory paper offers an overview of the current state of evidence and thinking on the multisectoral nutrition policy cycle, including how governance and financing support that process. It also Continue reading →