Welcome to the second issue of ILSI Southeast Asia Region's new-look NewsFlash - bringing you monthly news and information on nutrition and food safety issues relevant to our region
Nutrition, Food Safety and Health

JULY 2013



The First 1,000 Days of Infant and Young Child Nutrition: The Philippine Experience   

Research indicates that optimum nutrition during the 1,000 day period between the start of a woman's pregnancy through to her child's second birthday lays the foundation for a healthy and productive future, both for the individual child as well as the nation. Malnutrition during this critical period results in irreversible physical and cognitive impairments that prevent children from reaching their full potential. Maternal undernutrition remains a major concern in the Philippines and is a contributing factor to the high rates of maternal mortality and low birth weight infants. In addition, the prevalence of stunting in children aged 0-5 in the Philippines has increased.

Continuing on from our series of Seminars and Expert Consultations on Infant and Young Child Nutrition, ILSI Southeast Asia Region is presenting this one-day seminar on September 3rd, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. The seminar will bring together leading experts to examine current nutrition and health status of adolescent females, pregnant and lactating women in the Philippines and their implications for the health of infants and young children from birth up to age 2 years; discuss existing programs that address the needs of adolescent females, pregnant and lactating mothers, and children aged 0-24 months; and identify gaps in existing knowledge and programs using a continuum of care perspective.

For more information, visit


The Lancet Series: Maternal and Child Nutrition

Leading international medical journal The Lancet recently launched the
Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition, following on from their initial  Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition published in 2008.
The present Series re-evaluates the problems of maternal and child undernutrition, and examines the growing problem of overweight and obesity and their consequences for women and children in low and middle income countries. The Series also assesses national progress in nutrition programs in maternal and child nutrition, and international efforts towards previous recommendations. A particular highlight of the Series is the paper Evidence-based interventions for improvement of maternal and child nutrition: what can be done and at what cost? The author's analysis suggests that the current total of deaths in children younger than 5 years can be reduced by up to 15% if populations can access ten evidence-based nutrition interventions at 90% coverage.

High-Level Nutrition Dialogue: World Health Summit Regional Meeting in Singapore 

ILSI Southeast Asia Region was proud co-sponsor of the 'High Level Nutrition Dialogue' partner symposium to the World Health Summit Regional Meeting held in April in Singapore. At this half-day symposium, speakers and panelists engaged on the evidence supporting the renewed focus on maternal and early childhood nutrition as determinants of long term health and disease risk.

More information on the symposium can be found here

Thailand Nutrition in Transition: Situation and Challenges of Maternal and Child Nutrition

This paper, authored by Dr. Pattanee Winichagoon, Mahidol University, Thailand, was published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition in February 2013. The paper reviews the maternal and child nutrition situation and trends in Thailand as the country moved from a low-income to a middle-income country, using data from large scale national surveys. The paper examines an emerging public health concern in Thailand, the double burden of malnutrition - the coexistence of under- and overnutrition in the same population.

A copy of the full paper can be found

The Impact of Early Nutrition on Health: Key Findings from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (CLHNS) 

The Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (CLHNS) is a community-based prospective study conducted in Cebu, Philippines, that has tracked the health and wellbeing of 3327 pregnant women (aged 14-47) who were due to give birth in 1983-84. One of the longest running birth cohort studies in Southeast Asia, key findings from the CLHNS have been published recently in the Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, authored by Dr. Judith Borja, the study’s principal investigator for the Philippines. CLHNS findings have documented important effects of poor maternal nutrition beyond impaired foetal growth (manifested through low birth weight).

For a copy of the article, please contact

Outcomes of an Early Feeding Practices Intervention to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Australian researchers have recently published results of the NOURISH study, a randomized controlled trial of 698 first-time mothers and their healthy term infants, evaluating the outcomes of a universal intervention to promote protective feeding practices commencing in infancy that aim to prevent childhood obesity. Mothers were randomly allocated to either self-directed usual care or two 6-session interactive group education modules providing guidance on complementary feeding practices. Maternal feeding practices were assessed 6 months after the completion of the information sessions, and when the children reached 2 years of age. This large 2-year trial showed that anticipatory guidance on complementary feeding was associated with increased maternal 'protective' feeding practices that support the child's self-regulation of intake and promote the development of food preferences consistent with healthy dietary intake. There was a 4.1 percentage point reduction in prevalence of obesity at 2 years of age in the intervention group, although this was not statistically significant. The children will be followed up at age 3.5 and 5 years to determine the longer term efficacy of the intervention. 


Essential Nutrition Actions: Improving Maternal, Newborn, Infant and Young Child Health and Nutrition 

This recent report from the World Health Organisation provides guidance on nutrition interventions that target the first 1000 days of life, to help reduce infant and child mortality, improve physical and mental growth and development, and improved productivity. This document uses a life-course approach, from pre-conception to two years of life, summarizing the rationale and evidence behind the recommended interventions. Analyses of community-based nutrition interventions from countries including Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia are provided, indicating that effective interventions can be implemented by integrating the health sector, food system and other sectors that have important impacts on nutrition.

More information on the report can be found here.


Proceedings from the 3rd Expert Consultation and Planning Meeting on Infant and Young Child Nutrition  

The report and recommendations from the 3rd Expert Consultation on Infant and Young Child Nutrition, organized by the ILSI Southeast Asia Region Infant and Young Child Nutrition Committee in Singapore in July 2012, were recently published in the Malaysian Journal of Nutrition. Part 1 of the report reviews prevalence and determinants of infant and young child feeding practices such as breastfeeding and complementary feeding in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. Highlights of the meeting and recommendations from the Expert Panel on ways to improve infant and young child nutrition were presented in Part 2 of the report.

For a full copy of the report, please contact

Infant Feeding Guidelines: Australia 

The Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines: Information for Health Workers published in early 2013 by the National Health and Medical Research Council, aims to support optimum infant nutrition by providing a review of the evidence and clear guidance on infant feeding for health workers. The companion document Infant Feeding Guidelines Literature Review provides the scientific basis for the recommendations in the Infant Feeding Guidelines and used a systematic approach to review the extensive literature on infant feeding

Upcoming Events

July 13-16
IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo 
Chicago, USA

August 6
CSIRO Nutritional Metabolomics Symposium
Sydney, Australia
Click here for more information

August 20-21
International Symposium of Health Sciences 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Click here for more information  

August 24
2nd International Conference on Biotech and Food Engineering (ICBFE)

September 3
The First 1,000 Days of Infant and Young Child Nutrition: The Philippines Experience  

Manila, Philippines

For more information on ILSI Southeast Asia Region activities, please click the link here to view the latest edition of our Science InSight Newsletter.

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