Improving Maternal Child and Adolescent Health




The nutrition theme aims to foster high quality multidisciplinary research on child nutrition, and to support its translation into policy and practice. The membership of the theme includes basic science, clinical, public health, sociological and policy researchers – offering an opportunity for insights from diverse disciplines to inform the development, application, scale up, and evaluation of effective solutions for malnutrition in all its forms.

We take a lifecycle approach, encompassing maternal and early life nutrition, child and adolescent nutrition. We also recognize the global burden arising from multiple forms of malnutrition, and champion integrated approaches to the double burden of malnutrition: Undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency, as well as obesity and diet-related noncommunicable disease.

The theme also encourages policy engagement, actively engaging with national and global policy dialogues, and building relationships with key technical bodies such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF.


Theme Leaders


Louise BaurAnne Marie Thow


Exemplar Projects

South Asian Infant and Young Child Feeding Network (SAIFRN) Policy Project

"Enabling policy environments for nutrition require evidence to support best practice and engagement with political and policy contexts, as well as leadership, resourcing, advocacy, and technical support. However, research on nutrition policy contexts is limited. The papers in this special supplement on policy contexts for infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in South Asia makes a valuable contribution to understanding the policy landscape and political dynamics in the region and the global literature. Studies included in this special supplement analysed policy content and stakeholder influence on IYCF in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and assess the role of advocacy in addressing multiple elements of the policy environment. These analyses highlight opportunities to harmonize and manage the demands and interests of multiple actors while strengthening policy to strategically support optimal IYCF as the ultimate goal. They also provide robust examples of research on policy environments and policy change. Further investments in research on policy contexts for nutrition can help to understand and support continued progress towards improved actions for nutrition."

The double burden of malnutrition in low and middle income countries

The double burden of malnutrition occurs when there is a combination of overweight/obesity with a form of undernutrition, such as underweight, wasting, stunting, or any micronutrient deficiency. The double burden of malnutrition can occur at the level of the country, city, household or individual, and may occur as the combination of underweight children and overweight mothers. It has been termed "the new normal" for less-developed and developing countries by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Recent studies have looked at the changing nature of the double burden of malnutrition in young Indonesian children using data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey. There have also been a series of qualitative studies investigating the attitudes of Indonesian parents and carers of children to obesity, and to food choices. Ongoing work is assessing policy opportunities within Indonesian.


Selected Publications

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International Linkages

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