A year in publications (2018)
Nutrition practices in the first 28 days of life that support and protect mothers and infants as part of early newborn care are presented in Saving lives and giving newborns the best start: Critical nutrition interventions for mothers and infants in the perinatal period , a technical brief produced in collaboration with UNICEF. In addition to providing up-to-date information on recommended interventions, this brief identifies areas for research and policy action to better address the special needs of adolescents, obese women, women suffering maternal depression, and those with limited to no access to health care.
Published journal articles

Infant and young child feeding

Religious fasting often involves abstaining from animal source foods. Children are exempt from fasting; however, their diets are influenced by the practice. Maternal behavioural determinants and livestock ownership are associated with animal source food consumption among young children during fasting in rural Ethiopia  investigates the factors influencing consumption of animal source foods among young children during the Lent fasting period in western Amhara, Ethiopia. Among the findings, we learned that households with available animal source foods were 4.8 times more likely to have children who consumed them (compared to households with no animal source foods); however, many children in households that own chickens and/or cows and goats were not fed eggs or milk daily.

Factors influencing the uptake of a mass media intervention to improve child feeding in Bangladesh examines what influences the uptake of infant and young child feeding (IYCF) messages promoted in national TV spots. Findings show that younger age and receipt of home visit from frontline health workers were associated with higher comprehension for multiple spots, but higher education and frequent TV watching were not. The approach used in the TV spots—direct narrative messages or indirect messages conveyed through a story—affected message recall and comprehension, in favor of the direct message TV spots. 

A&T’s IYCF program in Bangladesh delivered through BRAC ended in 2014. Since then, implementation has continued and been scaled up by national partners. Large-scale social and behavior change communication interventions have sustained impacts on infant and young child feeding knowledge and practices: Results of a 2-year follow-up study in Bangladesh shows that improvements in early initiation of and exclusive breastfeeding, timely introduction of foods, and consumption of iron-rich foods were sustained two years later in the A&T-supported intensive areas, compared to non-intensive program areas.

Between 2007 and 2011, exclusive breastfeeding rates increased in Bangladesh, yet declined between 2011 and 2014. To better understand potential reasons why rates changed over those time periods, A&T explored the predictors of exclusive breastfeeding in Bangladesh.  Predictors of exclusive breastfeeding across three time points in Bangladesh: an examination of the 2007, 2011 and 2014 Demographic and Health Survey shares insights from this research, including that participation of the mother in household decisions was a significant predictor of exclusive breastfeeding rates in 2014. (abstract only)

In Indonesia, only 42 percent of children (< 6months) are exclusively breastfed, as per World Health Organization recommendations. The annual cost of not breastfeeding in Indonesia: The economic burden of treating diarrhea and respiratory disease among children (< 24mo) due to not breastfeeding according to recommendation estimates the potential economic impact of not breastfeeding to be US$118 million annually, based on health costs to treat infants suffering from attributable diarrhea and pneumonia/respiratory disease.
Maternal nutrition

A&T’s large-scale program integrating maternal nutrition interventions into an existing maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) program in Bangladesh improved women's micronutrient supplement intake and dietary diversity. Importance of coverage and quality for impact of nutrition interventions delivered through an existing health programme in Bangladesh analyzes data from that program to explore the implementation processes, finding that differences in coverage and counseling quality explained most of the impact on behaviors, although all elements of implementation were likely important.

Engagement of husbands in a maternal nutrition program substantially contributed to greater intake of micronutrient supplements and dietary diversity during pregnancy: Results of a cluster-randomized program evaluation in Bangladesh shows that nutrition-focused MNCH, compared with standard MNCH services, resulted in greater husbands’ awareness, knowledge, self-efficacy, and social norms related to optimal nutrition practices, and support to their wives. This was based on data from the same program in Bangladesh. Husbands' behavioral determinants and support explained nearly half of the program impact on maternal supplement intake and one-quarter of impact on dietary diversity.

Also from Bangladesh, Dietary diversity predicts the adequacy of micronutrient intake in pregnant adolescent girls and women in Bangladesh, but use of the 5-group cutoff poorly identifies individuals with inadequate intake compares the adequacy of micronutrient intakes between pregnant adolescent girls and women, examines the performance of 10-food women dietary diversity score in predicting the mean probability of adequacy, and assesses how well the Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W) cutoff of 5 groups performed in pregnant adolescent girls and women.