Completed Project

A study on Evidence based and Actionable Dietary advice to pregnant and lactating women (P&LW) in Rajasthan

Agency : CIFF, LONDON (Children's Investment Fund Foundation)

Team Goutam Sadhu, Ranjan Prusty, Sunita Nigam, Rajeev Dhakad, Abhishek Kumar, Ashish Bandhu, Vijay Kumar Mishra

The study offered an important opportunity to rethink our approach to taking action on nutrition issues- push to rethink more concretely about the social determinants of health as well as the complex political, social, and ecological system that influence an individual’s nutritional status, to formulate evidence-based and actionable dietary advice for pregnant and lactating women in Rajasthan, In Rajasthan, CIFF’s plan was to test a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) model, Compared to the current approach 'Take home ration (THR) under ICDS. P&LW was given a certain amount of month every month (approx. 250-350 Rs) so that they can improve their diet/nutrition levels, CIFF believed that dietary advice needs to be sufficiently specific and importantly actionable. It was not good enough to say eat a balanced diet or eat more protein. The food choices suggested must be available, affordable, and culturally appropriate. A parallel research programme to understand target women’s motivations were also being developed.

The study objectives were following. 1. Determine what pregnant and lactating women eat during these periods and other details of eating habits – occasions, size of different meals etc. How is this different from their usual diet (when not pregnant or lactating)? Identify gaps in their diets compared to the recommendations offered by WHO and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and 3. Identify realistic and specific dietary advice/recommendations to address nutrient gaps using locally available foods and food products that are acceptable and affordable.

This study was conducted in three districts of Rajasthan namely Baran, Udaipur, Barmer district. We selected respondents of pregnant, lactating women and non-pregnant & non-lactating women from 30 villages/cluster across 5 blocks of each district. A cluster sampling design was used for the current study. In each of the cluster, 4 women each from the 6 groups namely; Non-pregnant & Non-lactating, Pregnant 0-5 months, Pregnant ≥6 months, Lactating women with <6 months’ child, Lactating women with 6-11 months’ child and Lactating women with 12-23 months’ child were interviewed. Quantitative data were tabulated and analyzed using SPSS and excel. and 24hr recall was calculated in Opti food software.