Journal Articles

Overcoming the Limits of Evidence on Effective Multisectoral Nutrition Policy

Published: December 2016 Authors: Madhu Kumar Marasini, Ssansa Mugenyi Publisher: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
The multisectoral approach has evolved as a popular instrument to attain nutrition goals and targets. But as policy makers, we need timely, relevant, and accurate information in order to effectively support these plans. This commentary comes from the members of the nutrition secretariats at the National Planning Commission in Nepal and the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda on availability and use of evidence and the nutrition policy cycle. As has been highlighted in this supplement, some of the challenges we have faced include Continue reading →

The Nutrition Transition and Agricultural Transformation: a Preston curve approach

Published: November 2016 Authors: William A. Masters, Anaya Hall, Elena M. Martinez, Peilin Shi, Gitanjali Singh, Patrick Webb, Dariush Mozaffarian Publisher: Agricultural Economics
The nutrition transition in diets and health is closely tied to other aspects of economic development, including agricultural transformation and urbanization as well as demographic change and epidemiological transition from infectious to noncommunicable disease. Over time, dietary patterns typically shift from widespread inadequacy of many foods and nutrients, especially for children and mothers, into surplus energy intake and rising obesity with continued inadequacy of healthier foods. Diet-related diseases remain the largest single cause of premature death and disability in all regions. This article combines food Continue reading →

Nutrient composition of premixed and packaged complementary foods for sale in low‐ and middle‐income countries: Lack of standards threatens infant growth

Published: November 2016 Authors: William A. Masters, Marc D. Nene, Winnie Bell Publisher: Maternal & Child Nutrition
Premixed flours for infant porridge are increasingly produced and sold in developing countries to complement continued breastfeeding. Such complementary food (CF) products have known efficacy against malnutrition in children from 6 to 24 months of age, but ingredient ratios and production processes may vary. This study provides the first systematic measurement of their actual nutrient composition. We purchased samples of 108 premixed CF products in 22 low‐ and middle‐income countries, and commissioned blind laboratory measurement of each product’s macronutrients and micronutrients. We compared measured contents Continue reading →

Infrastructure mitigates the sensitivity of child growth to local agriculture and rainfall in Nepal and Uganda

Published: November 2016 Author: Gerald Shively Publisher: Proceedings of the Nat. Academy of Sciences of US
Incorporating agriculture into nutrition policy requires an understanding of how agricultural performance, rainfall, and the economic and physical environments in which children reside relate to linear growth and weight gain. This paper combines anthropometric data from children below the age of 5 y in Nepal and Uganda with rainfall data and other information to measure these connections. Anthropometric outcomes are positively correlated with rainfall prior to birth, during the first year, and during agricultural growing seasons preceding child measurement. High rainfall is found to be Continue reading →

Duration of programme exposure is associated with improved outcomes in nutrition and health: the case for longer project cycles from intervention experience in rural Nepal

Published: September 2016 Authors: Laurie Miller, Neena Joshi, Mahendra Lohani, Beatrice Rogers, Meghan Kershaw, Robert Houser, Shibani Ghosh, Jeffrey Griffiths, Shubh Mahato, Patrick Webb Publisher: Journal of Development Effectiveness
Economic growth and poverty reduction are not always sufficient to improve child health and nutritional status. Heifer International promotes livestock introduction and related training for community development and poverty alleviation. These programmes do not directly address child health or nutrition. To determine effects of its activities on these important outcomes, Heifer conducted a 4-year longitudinal investigation in rural Nepal. The intervention was associated with significantly improved child anthropometry (related to the duration of intervention exposure) and child health. Heifer activities represent a viable ‘nutrition sensitive’ Continue reading →

What Does It Cost to Improve Household Diets in Nepal? Using the Cost of the Diet Method to Model Lowest Cost Dietary Changes

Published: September 2016 Authors: Erin Biehl, Rolf Klemm, Swetha Manohar, Patrick Webb, Devendra Gauchan, Keith West Publisher: Food & Nutrition Bulletin
In Nepal, limited availability and affordability of nutritious foods contribute to malnutrition. To identify nutrient deficiencies in commonly consumed diets and model lowest cost changes that could improve diet quality in 3 agroecological zones of Nepal. The modeled lowest cost diet commonly eaten in 3 Nepalese communities lacks key nutrients. Policies and interventions that increase market availability and consumption of vitamin B12- and calcium-rich fish and dark green leafy vegetables could improve local diets, particularly in the mountains and hills.

Child nutrition and local food prices in Nepal

Published: September 2016 Authors: Ganesh Thapa, Gerald Shively Publisher: Nepalese Journal of Agricultural Economics
Abstract: This paper studies the connections between child nutrition and food prices in Nepal. Data from a number of sources are combined, including the 2006 and 2011 Nepal Demographic Health Surveys and monthly retail food price data collected over the period 2002 to 2010 from 34 districts of Nepal. A total of 4,038 children are used for the analysis (2,765 from 2006 and 1,273 from 2011). Price data are selected for six food commodities important for child nutrition outcomes: coarse rice, wheat flour, sugar, ghee, soybean Continue reading →

The association between food insecurity and depressive symptoms severity among pregnant women differs by social support category: a cross-sectional study

Published: August 2016 Authors: Barnabas Natamba, Jane Achan, Rebecca Stoltzfus, Sera Young Publisher: Maternal & Child Nutrition
Abstract Common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, affect approximately 16% of pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries. Food insecurity (FI) has been shown to be associated with depressive symptoms. It has also been suggested that the association between FI and depressive symptoms is moderated by social support (SS); however, there is limited evidence of these associations among pregnant women living in low-income and middle-income countries. We studied the association between FI and depressive symptoms severity and assessed whether such an association varied Continue reading →

Fostering reflective trust between mothers and community health nurses to improve the effectiveness of health and nutrition efforts: An ethnographic study in Ghana, West Africa

Published: June 2016 Authors: Nana Ackatia-Armah, Nii Antiaye Addy, Shibani Ghosh, Laurette Dube Publisher: Social Science & Medicine
As the global health agenda shifts from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the need for effective preventive health efforts has gained prominence, particularly in low-income regions with poor health and nutrition outcomes. To address needs in communities with limited access to health services and personnel, it is important to develop strategies that can improve the effectiveness of nurses as they interact with the populations they serve. We contribute to informing such strategies by explaining how mothers’ “reflective trust” in community Continue reading →

Child dietary quality in rural Nepal: Effectiveness of a community-level development intervention

Published: May 2016 Authors: Amelia F Darrouzet- Nardi, Laurie C Miller, Shubh Mahato, Mahendra Lohani, Beatrice L Rogers Publisher: Food Policy
Nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions have the potential to improve child dietary quality in rural households, as evidenced by a growing body of work which concurrently measures agricultural and nutrition indicators. Our objective was to investigate whether children in rural farming communities of Nepal participating in a community-level, nutrition-sensitive development intervention had improved dietary quality compared with children living in non-participating matched rural communities. Six rural communities of Nepal where livelihoods were predominantly agricultural were selected to participate in the phased implementation of a community-level development intervention Continue reading →