Journal Articles

Prioritizing and Funding the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan

Published: December 2016 Authors: Amanda Pomeroy-Stevens, Hannah Foehringer Merchant, Abel Muzoora, Ezekiel Mupere, Lidan Du Journal: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
In 2010, Uganda began developing its first multisectoral nutrition plan, the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP), to reduce malnutrition. While the UNAP signals high-level commitment to addressing nutrition, knowledge gaps remain about how to successfully implement such a plan. We tracked the UNAP’s influence on the process of priority setting and funding for nutrition from 2013 to 2015

Assessing Progress in Implementing Uganda’s Nutrition Action Plan: District-Level Insights

Published: December 2016 Authors: Edgar Agaba, Shibani Ghosh, Jeffrey K. Griffiths Journal: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
The 2011 Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP) established 2016 maternal and child nutrition targets. However, there is a lack of routine district-level data collection to assess UNAP implementation.  The Nutrition Innovation Lab collected serial household-level survey data (n = 3600) in 6 districts, including 2 UNAP implementation districts, in 2012 and 2014. Questionnaires focused on food security, nutrition, and health, among others, and included specific indicators relevant to UNAP’s targets.

Prioritizing and Funding Nepal’s Multisector Nutrition Plan

Published: December 2016 Authors: Amanda Pomeroy-Stevens, Kusum Hachhethu, Indu Sharma, Jolene Wun Journal: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Nepal has a long tradition of designing good multisectoral nutrition policy. However, success of policy implementation has varied. More evidence on how to successfully carry out multisector nutrition policy is needed. This study used a mixed-method longitudinal design to track qualitative and budgetary changes related to MSNP processes nationally as well as in 3 districts. Qualitative changes in each study area were assessed through interviews, observation, news content, and meeting notes. Changes in allocations and expenditures were calculated based on budget documents, work plans, and validation...

Measuring Nutrition Governance: An Analysis of Commitment, Capability, and Collaboration in Nepal

Published: December 2016 Authors: Patrick Webb, Grace Namirembe, Sabi Gurung, Diplav Sapkota, Winnie Fay Bell, Eileen Kennedy, Shailes Neupane, Swetha Manohar, Kedar Baral Journal: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Global commitments to nutrition have supported calls for better evidence to support effective investments at national level. However, too little attention has so far been paid to the role of governance in achieving impacts. This article explores the ways by which the commitment and capabilities of policy implementers affect collaborative efforts for achieving nutrition goals.

Overcoming the Limits of Evidence on Effective Multisectoral Nutrition Policy

Published: December 2016 Authors: Madhu Kumar Marasini, Ssansa Mugenyi Journal: 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...

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 Journal: 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)...

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 Journal: 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...

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 Journal: 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...

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

Published: November 2016 Author: Gerald Shively Journal: 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...

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 Journal: 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’...