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Programming maternal and child overweight and obesity in the context of undernutrition: current evidence and key considerations for low- and middle-income countries

  • Lindsay M Jaacks (a1), Justine Kavle (a2) (a3) (a4), Abigail Perry (a5) and Albertha Nyaku (a3)
Abstract
Abstract

The goals of the present targeted review on maternal and child overweight and obesity were to: (i) understand the current situation in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) with regard to recent trends and context-specific risk factors; and (ii) building off this, identify entry points for leveraging existing undernutrition programmes to address overweight and obesity in LMIC. Trends reveal that overweight and obesity are a growing problem among women and children in LMIC; as in Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, where the prevalence among urban women is approaching 50 %. Four promising entry points were identified: (i) the integration of overweight and obesity into national nutrition plans; (ii) food systems (integration of food and beverage marketing regulations into existing polices on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes and adoption of policies to promote healthy diets); (iii) education systems (integration of nutrition into school curricula with provision of high-quality foods through school feeding programmes); and (iv) health systems (counselling and social and behaviour change communication to improve maternal diet, appropriate gestational weight gain, and optimal infant and young child feeding practices). We conclude by presenting a step-by-step guide for programme officers and policy makers in LMIC with actionable objectives to address overweight and obesity.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email jaacks@hsph.harvard.edu
References
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