Two new papers from the TRELLIS lab have been published early this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the BMJ Global Health.
In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Ocansey and colleagues report that lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) provided to pregnant women and their children from 0-18 months in Ghana reduced social-emotional problems 5 years later, compared to groups who received only micronutrients. Children with lower home environment scores showed the greatest benefits of LNS, suggesting that early nutritional supplementation buffered the effect of a poor home environment on the development of behavioral problems. This study is the first long-term follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of both prenatal and postnatal LNS supplementation, and suggests that such supplementation may be part of an effective strategy to prevent the development of behavioral problems.
In the BMJ Global Health, Prado and colleagues reported factors that contribute to linear growth faltering in 4 longitudinal cohorts of young children, totaling more than 4000, in Ghana, Malawi, and Burkina Faso. We found consistent associations of 18-mo LAZ with maternal height and maternal body mass index (BMI) in 3-4 cohorts. The factors with the strongest associations with 18-mo LAZ were length for gestational age z-score at birth, maternal height, and gestational age at birth. Other factors that showed significant associations with 18-mo LAZ in 2 cohorts, though with smaller coefficients, were improved household water source, child dietary diversity, childhood diarrhea incidence, and 6 or 9-mo hemoglobin concentration. Interventions targeting these factors associated with LAZ may accelerate progress toward reducing stunting, however, much of the variance in linear growth status remained unaccounted for by individual-level factors suggesting that community-level changes may be needed to achieve substantial progress and further research is needed to understand the causes of stunting.
Sunday, June 10, Hynes Convention Center, Ballroom C
An estimated 155 million children are stunted and stunted growth is consistently associated with delayed cognitive development. This strong and consistent association has led to the widespread use of stunted growth as an indicator of delayed neurodevelopment. Interventions that decrease stunting are assumed to improve neurodevelopment. Likewise, it is commonly assumed that a country’s progress in reducing stunting will correspond to improving children’s brain development. These assumptions are only valid if the same underlying factors cause both linear growth failure and delayed neurodevelopment. An alternative possibility is that linear growth and neurodevelopment are constrained by different co-occurring environmental risk factors. If this is the case, then reducing the prevalence of stunting through an intervention or through a country’s progress over time may not correspond to improvements in children’s neurodevelopment. The goal of this symposium is to present novel evidence to test these two contrasting possibilities. With new analyses of large longitudinal cohort studies and meta-analyses, the presentations will address extent to which the determinants of linear growth faltering and delayed neurodevelopment are independent versus shared, and compare the effects of various types of interventions on each outcome.
Dr. Prado recently presented at the UC Davis Nutrition Update Symposium held at Putah Creek Lodge. This two-day symposium brought together UC Davis Nutrition Department faculty and UC Cooperative Extension professionals from UC ANR, UC CalFresh, and members from the Center for Nutrition in Schools. The symposium was a valuable opportunity to strengthen the collaborations between the Department of Nutrition, associated units and schools, and UC Cooperative Extension throughout the state. Attendees of the symposium underscored the importance of continual and future partnerships to coordinate campus-based and county-based research with nutrition and health programs delivered throughout the state of California. Dr. Prado presented on the “Effects of Dietary and Caregiving Interventions during Early Life on Child Development.”
You can view the recording on vimeo.