Table of Contents
ISRN Nutrition
Volume 2013, Article ID 210287, 7 pages
Research Article

A Nutrition Education Intervention to Combat Undernutrition: Experience from a Developing Country

1Human Development Programme, Aga Khan University, METRO Cash & Carry Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd., Mezzanine Floor, Main University Road, Karachi 75300, Pakistan
2Mahar Medical Center, F-50 A, Off 26th Street, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi 75500, Pakistan

Received 30 October 2012; Accepted 2 January 2013

Academic Editors: B. Knechtle, C. Shing, C. Soulage, and B. Stewart-Knox

Copyright © 2013 Ayesha Zahid Khan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Undernutrition in children is a major public health concern in Pakistan. A number of interventions which focused only on providing nutrient supplementation have failed to change child undernutrition status during the last 2 decades. The present study aimed to assess the impact of nutrition education on the nutritional status of children living in resource-limited environments. Methods. Subjects were 586 children from Tando Jam and Quetta, Pakistan, aged from 6 months to 8 years. Children were characterized as mild, moderate, or severely wasted on Z-scores. Anthropometry and 24-hour dietary recall were used for nutritional assessment. Intervention strategy was nutrition counselling targeting mothers. Primary outcome was decrease in the severity of wasting and changes in the feeding practices. Results. Nearly 36% children in Tando Jam and 32% children in Quetta progressed to a normal nutritional status. There was a significant increase in the number of meals taken per day (Tando Jam— /Quetta— ). In Tando Jam, significant increase was reported in the intake of high starch food items, vegetables, and fruits ( ). In Quetta, significant increase was noted in the intake of plant protein ( ), dairy foods ( ), and vegetables ( ). Conclusion. Nutrition education was successful in reducing undernutrition in food insecure households.