Unhealthy Snack Foods, Diets, and Nutritional Status During the Complementary Feeding Period

Wednesday, October 30, 2019(9:30am ET )
Hosted by CORE Group Nutrition Working Group

The CORE Group Nutrition Working Group hosted a webinar on Unhealthy snack foods, diets, and nutritional status during the complementary feeding period: a study among young children in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.

Availability and consumption of processed foods has grown rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), among both adults and children. While snacks provide energy during the nutritionally vital complementary feeding period, consumption of unhealthy snack foods and beverages (USFB), typically energy-dense and nutrient-poor, is concerning given young children’s high nutritional requirements and limited gastric capacity. However, there is limited information on the contribution of such foods to dietary intakes and the potential nutritional consequences among young children in LMIC. This thesis describes a cross-sectional study (part of the ARCH project) in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal that assessed dietary intakes of a representative sample of 12-23-month-old children and examined the association between high consumption of USFB and nutritional status. In LMIC contexts where the nutrient density of complementary feeding diets is low, addressing the increased availability of inexpensive, packaged products in LMIC food systems should be a priority for policies and programs aiming to safeguard child nutrition.

Presenter: Alissa Pries, Helen Keller International (HKI)

Alissa Pries has been with Helen Keller International (HKI) since 2011 and currently serves as Senior Research Advisor for HKI’s Assessment and Research on Child Feeding (ARCH) project, which aims to gather information on the promotion and utilization of commercially produced foods consumed by young children in urban Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Senegal, and Tanzania. Alissa completed her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Her doctoral research was conducted in collaboration with HKI Nepal and focused on the consumption of unhealthy snack foods among young children in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal and explored associations with nutritional outcomes. She has also supported research around HKI’s nutrition-sensitive agricultural program, Enhanced Homestead Food Production (E-HFP), in Cambodia, Nepal, and Vietnam. Alissa has previously worked on maternal and reproductive health research in India and Nigeria, as well with the New York City Department of Health. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she received her MPH in Population Health from Columbia University and her BA in Medical Anthropology from McGill University.

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