Document Detail

Prevention of low birthweight.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19346778     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Globally an estimated 20 million infants are born with low birthweight (LBW), of those over 18 million are born in developing countries. These LBW infants are at a disproportionately higher risk of mortality, morbidity, poor growth, impaired psychomotor and cognitive development as immediate outcomes, and are also disadvantaged as adults due to their greater susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease. Maternal malnutrition prior to and during pregnancy manifested by low bodyweight, short stature, inadequate energy intake during pregnancy and coexisting micronutrient deficiency are considered major determinants in developing countries where the burden is too high. LBW is a multifactorial outcome and its prevention requires a lifecycle approach and interventions must be continued for several generations. So far, most interventions are targeted during pregnancy primarily due to the increased nutritional demand and aggravations of already existing inadequacy in most women. Several individually successful interventions during pregnancy include balanced protein energy supplementation, several single micro-nutrients or more recently a mix of multiple micronutrients. Nutrition education has been successful in increasing the dietary intake of pregnant women but has had no effect on LBW. The challenge is to identify a community-specific intervention package. Current evidence supports intervention during pregnancy with increased dietary intakes including promotions of foods rich in micronutrients and micronutrient supplementation, preferably with a multiple micronutrient mix. Simultaneously a culturally appropriate educational component is required to address misconceptions about diet during pregnancy and childbirth including support for healthy pregnancy with promotion of antenatal and perinatal care services. While further research is needed to identify more efficacious interventions, an urgent public health priority would be to select and implement an optimal mix of interventions to avert the immediate adverse consequences of LBW and to prevent the impending epidemic of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease which are negatively associated with LBW.
Dewan S Alam
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nestlé Nutrition workshop series. Paediatric programme     Volume:  63     ISSN:  1661-6677     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2009  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-04-06     Completed Date:  2009-05-29     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101244056     Medline TA:  Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  209-21; discussion 221-5, 259-68     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright (c) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Public Health Sciences Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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MeSH Terms
Developing Countries
Dietary Supplements
Food Deprivation
Infant, Low Birth Weight*
Infant, Newborn
Iron / administration & dosage,  therapeutic use
Nutritional Status
Prenatal Care / standards*
Reg. No./Substance:

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