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Effects of nutritional interventions during pregnancy on birth, child health and development outcomes: A systematic review of evidence from low-and middle-income countries

Optimal nutrition plays a crucial role in pregnancy. Poor maternal nutrition and maternal obesity has risk factors for serious fetal complications and neonatal outcomes, including intrauterine growth restriction, congenital abnormalities, stillbirth, low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth, fetal macrosomia, increased risk of neonatal infections, neonatal hypothermia, and neonatal death. The prevalence of maternal malnutrition is higher in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (10-19%) when compared with high-income countries, with variation by region and by country. Several behavioral interventions, including dietary control and exercise, have been found to reduce the risk of these adverse outcomes. This review aimed to assess the effectiveness of balanced energy protein (BEP) supplementation, food distribution programs (FDPs), and dietary interventions to prevent maternal obesity during pregnancy on birth, child health, and developmental outcomes. This review highlights improvement in maternal, birth, and child outcomes through BEP supplementation and FDP during pregnancy. But, due to the small number of included studies and low quality of evidence, the effect of BEP supplementation, FDP and dietary interventions for prevention of obesity on maternal, and child outcomes could not be ascertained. Thus, further good quality research is recommended to assess the effect of these interventions on maternal, child and developmental outcomes.

WILEY Lassi et al. December 2021
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