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Re: Infant and Young Child Feeding [message #1700 is a reply to message #1693] Mon, 31 March 2014 13:55 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
slhuffman is currently offline  slhuffman
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Registered: March 2014
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I strongly support this proposal. The DHS provides unparalleled national data that countries need to develop programs to improve young child nutrition and the increasing rates of obesity, dental caries, and chronic diseases necessitate inclusion of foods that impact on these issues.

WHO is now revising guidelines on free sugar consumption suggesting that it be less than 5% of energy (free sugars include added sugar and fructose found in juice/juice drinks). The current DHS questionnaire includes a question on consumption of juice and juice drinks which will help monitor compliance to new guidelines, but does not contain information on other sugary foods or soft drinks. Since many countries continued to add the sugary foods question (in Q558) which was in DHS 5 in their version of the DHS 6 questionnaire, including it for all countries in DHS 7 would be extremely important for monitoring purposes and policy and program development. Adding a soft drink question would provide needed information. Recent analyses from research in Cambodia found 44% of children 18-23 mo of age drank soft drinks in the last week.

The high consumption of salty snacks such as fried chips and crisps is also a concern because of impacts on chronic disease development, both because of the relationship of early use of salt and increased salt preference, intake of salt and hypertension, and the fact that many such foods contain trans-fatty acids.

An illustration of how such data will be used can be found in :Huffman, S.L., Piwoz, E., Vosti, S. Dewey, K.G. Babies, soft drinks and snacks: A concern in low- and middle-income countries? Maternal and Child Nutrition, in press 2014.

Several organizations are working to reduce the negative impacts of marketing of breastmilk substitutes in low- and middle- income countries by encouraging the private sector to change marketing practices through indices ranking companies. These include FTSE4Good Index and Access to Nutrition Index, but they are now inhibited because of a lack of quantitative data. Additionally, policy makers in countries do not have the quantitative data needed to enforce regulations. A simple new question (that has been pretested extensively through numerous surveys) as suggested by PAHO/WHO and HKI, will provide this needed data. A reference illustrating the use of this question is :Mason, F., Rawe, K., & Wright, S. Superfood for Babies: How Overcoming Barriers to Breastfeeding will Save Children's Lives. Save the Children. London. 2013.


Sandra L. Huffman, Sc.D.
Nutrition Researcher
University of Calif, Davis
Program in International and Community Nutrition
 
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