Open Access Enhancing women's contributions to improving family food consumption and nutrition

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Despite some recent gains, the prevalence of stunting in many developing countries remains unacceptably high and warrants additional emphasis on sustainable strategies that families can use to promote better nutrition for their members. This review asks: "If women are the primary caregivers in the families, can their ability to carry out their roles be strengthened so they can improve and sustain the nutritional status of their family members?" Women play important roles in promoting and protecting the food intake and nutritional status of their family members through the food they produce and process, and the care- and health-promoting behaviors they practice. It is demonstrated that increasing their resources to carry out these roles—income, production-focused inputs, labor-saving technology, microfinance, social networks, and women's human capital—yields improvements in the nutritional situation of families, particularly children. It is recommended that experts in nutrition and other relevant fields collaborate to design multifaceted interventions focused on increasing women's resources and ability to improve nutritional benefits, thereby enhancing the sustainability of the interventions. More assessments of the process and the outcomes of such interventions need to be made rigorously.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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