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Newspost

May 16, 2018

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Food for women

To counter long-term effects of under-nutrition on fetal growth and development, one has to improve the nutritional status of women, especially around the time of conception and during pregnancy. Under-nutrition is a major cause of stunting and can lead to problems such as anaemia, neurological issues, stillbirths and other nutrition-related non-communicable diseases in adulthood. And while the damage done due to malnutrition is almost always irreversible, it is also entirely preventable.

To promote and support good maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation, it is important that women are provided with adequate micronutrients, especially iron, folic acid, calcium, iodine and vitamin A through supplementation, fortification and diverse food consumption. Dietary diversification and selection of nutrient-rich foods, fortification or bio-fortification of staple foods, supplementation with multiple micronutrients and use of fortified food products is extremely useful for this target group. To addressing malnutrition in a sustainable fashion, Pakistan will have to take a life-cycle approach with a special focus on pregnant and lactating women, children under two years of age and adolescent girls.

Tahir Rasheed

Karachi

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