Food and Agricultural Approaches to Reducing Malnutrition

2015-07-23 12:23:22 | BioPortfolio


The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential of reducing young child undernutrition in low-income countries through an integrated program that trains women's groups in agriculture, nutrition, child care and hygiene.


An estimated 165 million children worldwide suffer from chronic undernutrition which leads to compromised physical and cognitive development and prevents them from reaching their full potential. Nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions that aim to increase dietary diversity, empower women and include an educational behaviour change component focused on nutrition and hygiene are a promising and sustainable approach to addressing undernutrition. However, evidence on the impact of such interventions is still scarce due to a lack of rigorous long-term evaluations.

This study will test the hypothesis that integrated agriculture, nutrition and hygiene interventions can reduce undernutrition when children benefit in their crucial first 1000 days. The investigators will conduct an impact evaluation of Helen Keller International's Homestead Food Production program in Bangladesh that trains women's groups in vegetable and fruit gardening, poultry rearing, hygiene, child care and nutrition. Furthermore, the investigators will assess the program impact pathway to discern how any impact is achieved (through improved food production, income, food security, health service use, female empowerment, feeding and hygiene practices).

The study design is a cluster-randomized controlled field trial in two sub-districts of Habiganj District, Sylhet Division, Bangladesh, including 2700 young women in 96 settlements. After the baseline survey in 2015, settlements will be randomized into 48 intervention and 48 control settlements. Women in the intervention settlements will receive training and support in Homestead Food Production during the following four years. A surveillance system will collect data on pregnancies, births, child development, nutrition and infections as well as pathway indicators. In 2019, the investigators will conduct the endline survey to assess the nutritional status of the 2700 women and their then approximately 1500 children below 3 years of age and compare between intervention and control.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Prevention




Homestead Food Production program


Enrolling by invitation


Heidelberg University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2015-07-23T12:23:22-0400

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