Nutrition and child health

There are many links between nutrition and disability, especially in children. Poor nutrition leaves the body more vulnerable to infections which can lead to disabling conditions. In young children, malnutrition can affect mental development leading to learning difficulties, and can affect physical development. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness and iodine deficiency can affect mental development or cause thyroid problems. A growing problem in developing countries is obesity, which can also lead to health problems and disability. Disability can also lead to nutritional problems: for example, children with severe disabilities can have difficulties chewing and swallowing.

This Key list includes information on nutrition and child development, guidelines for infant feeding, nutrition interventions and case studies. We welcome your suggestions: please send comments or suggested additions to sourceassistant@hi-uk.org.

Selected resources

Introductory resources

A guide to country-level information about equity, poverty and health available from multi-country research programs

CARR, Dara
et al
1999

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This guide provides information about 14 inter-country programmes including activities, sponsors, countries covered, and contact details. It includes an extensive list of studies that have been produced or are underway under the auspices of each of the 14 programmes, together with further contact details. This list is organised by country, and is designed to introduce professionals concerned with particular countries to the research taking place there, and the people undertaking it

Child and adolescent health and development

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)

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This WHO website on nutrition issues for children and young children contains useful resources and information on feeding and nutrition for infants and children between the ages of two and five as well as adolescent nutrition

Diarrhoea : why children are still dying and what can be done

2009

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This website focuses on a package of proven prevention and treatment measures for diarrhoea. It is divided into sections which include: the global burden of diarrhoea, the basics of diarrhoeal diseases; where we stand today in preventing and treating childhood diarrhoea; and a seven-point plan for comprehensive diarrhoeal control. The website is a version of the UNICEF/WHO report 'Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done'. It would be useful to the general public, health workers, government, NGOs, United Nations organisations, policy makers and private sector workers

Harmonized training package

GLOBAL NUTRITION CLUSTER
NUTRITIONWORKS
2008

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This training package relates to nutrition in emergencies. The materials cover a broad range of subject areas concerned with nutrition in emergencies, in order to meet the differing needs of governments and international agencies in different contexts. Each module comprises four sections: i) briefing paper for senior decision makers; ii) technical notes for practitioners; iii) trainers' guide; and iv) reference material/sources. Contents: Module 1: Introduction to nutrition in emergencies Module 2: Agency mandates and coordination mechanisms Module 3: Understanding malnutrition Module 4: Micronutrient malnutrition Module 5: Causes of malnutrition Module 6: Measuring malnutrition: individual assessment Module 7: Measuring malnutrition: population assessment Module 8: Health assessment and the link with malnutrition Module 9: Food security assessment and the link to nutrition Module 10: Nutrition information and surveillance systems Module 11: General food distribution Module 12: Supplementary feeding Module 13: Therapeutic feeding Module 14: Micronutrient interventions Module 15: Health interventions Module 16: Livelihood interventions Module 17: Infant and young child feeding Module 18: HIV & AIDS nutrition Module 19: Nutrition information, education and communication Module 20: Monitoring and evaluation Module 21: Standards and accountability

Lifting the curse : overcoming persistent undernutrition in India|IDS research summary

HADDAD, Lawrence
ZEITLYN, Sushila Zeitlyn
Eds
July 2009

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This research summary "...proposes a number of ways in which the state and civil society in India can strengthen the governance of nutrition in terms of capability, responsiveness and accountability... "India contains a third of the developing world's under nourished children, but the country's rapid economic growth suggests it should be capable of tackling the problem"

Mother and child nutrition : mother, infant and young child nutrition and malnutrition

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"The information and links contained within this site aim to address malnutrition in the global context, offering online access to the latest worldwide developments in its prevention and management. It is hoped that a greater understanding of best practices, including new technologies and available resources, will encourage more people to tackle the intergenerational transmission of malnutrition, while also freely sharing information and experiences." The website also has a specific section for information about nutrition and malnutrition in India. It is aimed at the community at large with a section practitioners and programme managers

Nutrition

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)

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This online resource has information on three major micronutrient deficiencies and ways of eliminating them: iodine deficiency disorders, vitamin A deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia. It also contains information on obesity and nutrition transition, infant and young child feeding practices and nutrition in emergencies amongst other topics

Nutrition data banks : micronutrient deficiency information system

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)

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The micronutrient deficiency information system (MDIS) was established in 1991 following a request by the World Health Assembly that surveillance of micronutrient deficiencies be strengthened at the global level.The objectives of the MDIS are to: provide member states with national, regional and global assessments of the magnitude of micronutrient deficiencies; monitor and evaluate, through systematic data collection over time, the impact of WHO strategies to prevent and control micronutrient deficiencies, provide member states with technical support to increase capacity for the establishment and maintenance of national micronutrient deficiency surveillance systems.Currently, the MDIS includes three databases: iodine deficiency disorders, vitamin A deficiency, and anaemia

The guidebook nutritional anaemia

BADHAM, Jane
ZIMMERMANN, Michael B
KRAEMER, Klaus
2007

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This guidebook offers a comprehensive summary of the critical issues from prevalence data and statistics, to economics, through to diagnosis, functional consequences and background information on each of the micronutrients believed to be directly or indirectly involved in anemia

Turning the tide of malnutrition : responding to the challenge of the 21st century

NUTRITION FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT (NHD)
Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments (SDE)
2000

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This document examines the issues surrounding malnutrition, such as obesity or micronutrient deficiencies. It also outlines other issues including: the promotion of proper feeding for infants and young children; protecting nutrition in emergencies; guiding food aid; and developing effective food and nutrition policies and programmes.
It describes the challenges in combating the different manifestations of malnutrition as well as responses that can be made

World declaration on the survival, protection and development of children and plan of action for implementing the world declaration

UNITED NATIONS (UN)
1990

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This document was adopted during the world summit for children in September 1990. Led by 71 heads of state and government and 88 other senior officials, mostly at the ministerial level, the world summit adopted a declaration on the survival, protection and development of children and a plan of action for implementing the declaration in the 1990s. These documents contain outlined specific promises to promote the "optimal growth and development in childhood through measures to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and famine" and the plans to achieve this goal

Nutrition interventions

Beyond survival : integrated delivery care practices for long-term maternal and infant nutrition, health and development

CHAPARRO, Camila
LUTTER, Chessa
December 2007

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This report reviews current knowledge of the immediate and long-term nutritional and health benefits of: delayed umbilical cord clamping; immediate and continued skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant; and immediate initiation of exclusive breastfeeding and aims to to illustrate that these three practices can be feasibly and safely implemented together for the benefit of both mother and infant

Breastfeeding : the best investment

PIERCY, Alisha
et al
2000

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This report was published following breastfeeding week 1998. It highlights the importance of breastfeeding for families, communities and economies in different countries worldwide and aims to raise the awareness about breastfeeding

Challenging assumptions : breastfeeding and HIV/AIDS

PROGRAM FOR APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY IN HEALTH (PATH)
March 2008

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This policy brief considers the risks of HIV transmission from mother to child through breastfeeding, and the benefits of breast milk in preventing child malnutrition and morbidity and mortality in the first two years of life

Child and adolescent health and development

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)

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This WHO website on nutrition issues for children and young children contains useful resources and information on feeding and nutrition for infants and children between the ages of two and five as well as adolescent nutrition

Community-based strategies for breastfeeding promotion and support in developing countries

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
2003

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This review examines the role of communities and community-based resource persons in providing support for appropriate feeding practices and access to skilled support when mothers need it. This document is based on a literature review and an analysis of three projects in Madagascar, Honduras and India. It assesses the impact of interventions, the mechanisms through which behaviours can be changed, and the factors that are necessary to maximise and sustain the benefits of interventions

Complementary feeding : report of the global consultation, and summary of guiding principles for complementary feeding of the breastfed child

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
2002

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This report is the result of a global consultation on the principles of proper complementary feeding. It recognises that maternal malnutrition, inappropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices represent major risks to the health and development of those children who survive. There has been significant progress in the implementation of interventions to improve breastfeeding practices. However, similar progress has not been made in the area of complementary feeding. The document discusses important issues relating to foods and feeding as well as the intricate links between maternal nutrition and appropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices

Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases : report of a joint WHO/FAO expert consultation

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
2003

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This consultation followed up the work of a WHO study group on diet, nutrition and prevention of non-communicable diseases, which met in 1989 to make recommendations regarding the prevention of chronic diseases and the reduction of their impact. The consultation recognised that the growing epidemic of chronic disease, afflicting both developed and developing countries, relates to dietary and lifestyle changes. This document reviews the considerable scientific progress that has been made in different chronic non-communicable diseases including obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and some types of cancer

Evidence for the ten steps to successful breastfeeding

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO). Division of Child Health and Development
1998

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This review summarises studies related to each of ten steps to successful breastfeeding and studies combining these steps. As far as possible the authors included only experimental and quasi-experimental studies. The purpose of the document was to review the evidence for the efficacy of the "ten steps" and to provide a tool for advocacy and education

Global strategy for infant and young child feeding

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
2003

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This document draws attention to the impact that feeding practices have on the nutrition and survival of infants and young children. It emphasizes the crucial role that appropriate feeding practices (such as breastfeeding) play in achieving optimal health outcomes. The strategy paper is a guide for action. It identifies interventions with a proven positive impact, emphasizing the importance of providing mothers and families the support they need to carry out their crucial roles, and it explicitly defines the obligations and responsibilities in this regard of governments, international organisations and other concerned parties

Human vitamin and mineral requirements : report of a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation

NANTEL, Guy
et al
2001

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This report is intended to provide practical advice and recommendations which will constitute an authoritative source of information to those working in the areas of nutrition, agriculture, food production and distribution, and health. It will also form the basis for a new edition of the FAO/WHO Handbook on Human Nutritional Requirements. It provides recommended nutrient intakes for: vitamins A, C, D, E, and K; the B vitamins; calcium; iron; magnesium; zinc; selenium; and iodine

Improving child health through nutrition : the nutrition minimum package

SANGHVI, Tina
MURRAY, John
1997

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The minimum pack interventions aim to achieve positive health and nutrition behaviours: exclusive breastfeeding for about six months, appropriate complementary feeding starting at about six months in addition to breastfeeding until 24 months, adequate vitamin A intake for women, infants and young children, nutritional management during and after illness, iron support for pregnant women and regular use of iodised salt by all families

Indicators for assessing infant and young child feeding practices : part 1, definitions|Conclusions of a consensus meeting held 6-8 November 2007 in Washington, DC, USA

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
2008

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This publication defines indicators that could be used to revise those outlined in the document 'Indicators for assessing breastfeeding practices', published in 1991. This document provided a set of indicators that could be used to assess infant feeding within and across countries and evaluate the progress of breastfeeding promotion efforts

Promoting the growth of children : what works

GRIFFITHS, Marcia
DICKIN, Kate
FAVIN, Michael
1996

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This manual is part four of the World Bank's nutrition toolkit. It aims to help with the design and supervision of effective and feasible nutrition projects and project components and to carry out comprehensive analysis of sectoral and policy issues affecting food consumption and nutrition

ProPAN: process for the promotion of child feeding

PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION (PAHO)
April 2004

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This manual describes a step-by-step process, which begins with the quantitative identification of nutritional and dietary problems, and also with the collection of qualitative information on why these problems occur, and ends with the design of and evaluation plan for an intervention to address the problems identified. It is intended for Ministries of Health, non-governmental organisations, and bilateral and international organisations interested in improving infant and young child feeding (from birth to 24 months) to prevent early childhood malnutrition. It includes steps on how to collect, analyse, and integrate both quantitative and qualitative information, provides guidance on how to design an intervention, and reviews evaluation strategies

The resurgence of breastfeeding, 1975-2000

CROTHER, S M
REYNOLDS, L A
TANSEY, E M
Eds
2009

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These testimonies 'clearly demonstrate that despite all the studies on the phsiology of maternal nursing, on the benefits of breast-milk and on the factors that inhibit and encourage mothers' nursing, beastfeeding is not an unquestioningly accepted part of the children's lives. But the drive to better understand the process of breastfeeding will and must persist if we are to ensure the health and well-being of future generations"