Inequalities in maternal and young child health and Nutrition

Aileen Robertson

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskning


    No routine data is available on maternal obesity but figures are routinely available for all women aged 18 to 44, the main fertile age range. Data shows that in 2014, there was a steep social gradient in both obesity and overweight, more generally. Among women in this age group who had, at most, completed lower secondary education, 21 per cent were obese compared to only 10 per cent of those with tertiary education. The respective percentages overweight were 55 and 33 percent (i.e. either pre-obese or obese).
    Interventions with women of reproductive age
    A very weak evidence base suggests that some improvements in motivation and behaviour are achievable through counselling and educational sessions in targeted lower-income groups. The only evidence of improved adiposity measures is reported in a small scale study involving personalised counselling over a one-year period.
    Interventions for weight gain during pregnancy
    A weak evidence base suggests that interventions targeted at lower-income women during pregnancy are effective for improving health behaviours, reducing the level of weight gained during pregnancy and reducing the likelihood that weight gain exceeds national recommendations.
    Interventions on birth weight
    A very weak evidence base suggests that counselling and personalised nurse advice given to lower-income (ethnic minority) women during pregnancy can improve birth outcomes. This is the case for low birth weights or small-for-gestational age babies. No studies were found of interventions to reduce the risk of high birth weight or large for gestational age babies.
    Interventions on breastfeeding
    A weak evidence base suggests that a variety of interventions can be effective in producing better breastfeeding initiation and duration outcomes, including peer-support and specialist counselling in group and one-to-one sessions, among lower-income mothers.
    Interventions on complementary feeding
    A weak evidence base suggests that the provision of various forms of intervention through professional, peer-group and other forms of counselling, health education and skills training were generally successful at improving infant feeding practices, and in some cases showed evidence of reduced adiposity in the offspring.
    Interventions on marketing of breast milk substitutes
    On average, mothers with high levels of education appear to breastfed significantly more compared with those with low levels. The marketing of breast milk substitutes negatively affects breastfeeding and childhood obesity is probably exacerbated as formula-fed infants appear to gain weight faster than those that are breastfed. Given the correct policy infrastructure breastfeeding rates can improve dramatically in a very short time. EU Member States have to-date endorsed many of these policies at international level but still need to implement them nationally. For example:
    • The ‘EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020’;
    • The EU guidance on nutrition for newborn and infants;
    • The ‘Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant, and young child nutrition’ endorsed at the World Health Assembly (2012);
    • The ‘Global monitoring framework on maternal, infant, and young child nutrition’ endorsed at the World Health Assembly (2014);
    • The 3rd ‘WHO European Region Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015-2020’ (2014);
    • WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (2016);
    • WHO Targets 2025 (2016).

    This includes regulating the breast-milk substitute industry by implementing, monitoring and enforcing the International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes.
    Publikationsdato24 maj 2017
    StatusUdgivet - 24 maj 2017
    BegivenhedDanish Nutrition Society Annual Conference - Copenhagen, Danmark
    Varighed: 24 maj 201724 maj 2017


    KonferenceDanish Nutrition Society Annual Conference


    • Sundhed, ernæring og livskvalitet