Studies of Nutrition Intervention in Pregnancy


  • Aarón Lechtig M.D.

    1. Aarón Lechtig is Co-director of SINAPS, Division of Human Development, Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), Guatemala City. The summary of nutritional intervention studies is adapted from a workshop report “Effects of Maternal Nutrition on Infant Health. Implications for Action,” edited by Aarón Lechtig, in Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrition, Vol. XXIX, Suppl. 1, Dec. 1979, No. 4.
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ABSTRACT: The main conclusion of this review of 8 nutritional intervention studies during pregnancy is that, in mothers with protein-energy malnutrition–either acute or chronic-food supplementation during pregnancy can improve birthweight and decrease the incidence of low birthweight babies. It is stressed that programs to reduce the incidence of low birthweight babies must be aimed at the major causes of low birthweight, which differ among populations. For example, in Harlem the major probable cause of low birthweight is not dietary protein-energy deficiency but short birth intervals, very young primiparas, highparity, and smoking.