Dhaka, Aug 26 (UNB) – Milk consumption has a large impact on linear growth in the crucial first 1,000 days of an infant’s life, potentially reducing stunting by as much as 10.4 point among children in Bangladesh, according to a new study done by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
“Increasing access to dairy products can be extremely beneficial to the nutrition and long-term health of children 6-23 months of age when incorporated into a diet that includes good breastfeeding practices,” says Derek Headey, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI, and lead author of the study.
“Given almost half of children in rural Bangladesh are stunted, increasing dairy consumption among children and women of childbearing age should be a central priority for nutritional strategies in Bangladesh.”
An IFPRI press release said on Sunday that Bangladesh has low levels of per capita milk consumption - less than half those of neighboring India – due to several factors like severe land constraints and historical unavailability of milk.
Stunting, or short height for age, is important public health indicator. Over a third of Bangladesh’s under-five years’ old children are stunted.
Milk production and consumption have long been strongly linked to child growth in European and African populations, but little research has focused on Asian nations.
Published recently in the journal, Economics and Human Biology, this new study – ‘Household dairy production and child growth: Evidence from Bangladesh,’ authored by IFPRI’s Derek Headey and University of London’s Samira Choudhury, examines the impact of dairy consumption and production on child nutritional outcomes while comparing the influence on breastfeeding.
The study utilizes the nationally representative Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) of rural areas over two rounds 2011/12 and 2015.
“This finding is especially important as growth faltering appears to be particularly pronounced from roughly 6 months of age to 20 months of age, a period that coincides with the introduction of complementary foods, such as rice, that are often low in protein and micronutrients that aid growth and development,” says Headey.
Dairy is high in all three macronutrients (energy, fat and protein), as well as important micronutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, and calcium.
However, the study also finds some evidence that household dairy availability can have negative effects on breastfeeding in the first year of life. Households that produce their own milk are 22 percentage points less likely to breastfeed their children in the first year of life, suggesting dairy-oriented nutrition strategies need to proactively promote exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months to prevent premature substitution into dairy.
“Our results provide a further rationale for utilizing campaigns aimed at improving nutritional knowledge, especially the need to reduce the perception that dairy products can be a substitute for breastmilk,” says Headey.
Childhood under-nutrition is increasingly recognized as a significant global health problem and a major constraint to economic development. Under-nutrition is associated with nearly 3.1 million childhood deaths and can impair cognitive and physical development in early childhood, as well as education and earnings later in life.
Nutritionists have emphasized that good nutrition in early childhood, specifically in the first 1,000 days of life, is the most essential for ensuring healthy growth for the entirety of one’s life.
Researchers’ analysis in this study corroborate that dairy consumption is most beneficial in this first 1,000 days period.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. IFPRI was established in 1975 to identify and analyze alternative national and international strategies and policies for meeting the food needs of the developing world, with particular emphasis on low-income countries and on the poorer groups in those countries.
Dhaka, Aug 9 (AP/UNB)-Move over, Mother Nature. First-time moms at low risk of complications were less likely to need a cesarean delivery if labor was induced at 39 weeks instead of waiting for it to start on its own, a big study found. Their babies fared better, too.
The results overturn the longtime view that inducing labor raises the risk for a C-section, and prompted two leading OB-GYN doctor groups to say it's now reasonable to offer women like those in the study that option.
But only certain pregnant women qualify, and the study did not track how inducing labor affected breastfeeding or other mom-baby issues later. Some groups such as Lamaze International still advocate letting nature take its course rather than giving medicines to make the womb start contracting.
"Many women don't want all of the medical care that goes with induction" such as an IV and fetal monitoring, said Lisa Kane Low, past president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and associate dean of the University of Michigan School of Nursing. "It can result in a very different type of experience."
Being induced doesn't mean moms can't have "natural childbirth" — they can forgo pain medicine or use a hospital's homelike birthing center rather than delivering in "an operating room in a sterile suite with a big light over your head," said the study leader, Dr. William Grobman, an OB-GYN specialist at Northwestern University in Chicago.
"Everyone has a different definition of what a natural birth is," said Dr. Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, which participated in the study.
"Some women feel that natural just means delivering vaginally" and more were able to do that when labor was induced, she said.
Results of the federally funded study were published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.
ABOUT THE STUDY
About 40 percent of U.S. women giving birth are first-time moms, and at least half are low risk — no problems requiring early delivery or a cesarean. Many women ask to be induced now, to let them plan delivery and ensure their doctor is available, but the risks and benefits are unclear.
Previous studies suggesting that inducing labor raises the risk for a C-section were observational and compared different types of women giving birth under different types of circumstances. This was the first very big experiment to time labor induction for 39 weeks — when a pregnancy is considered full term and complication rates are lowest.
More than 6,100 women at 41 hospitals were randomly placed in two groups: one had labor induced at 39 weeks; the other waited for labor to start on its own and were induced only if a problem developed or they hadn't delivered by 42 weeks.
HOW MOMS AND BABIES FARED
Deaths and severe complications were fewer among babies of women who were induced — about 4 percent versus 5 percent in the other group — but the difference was so small it could have occurred by chance alone. Significantly fewer babies in the induced group needed breathing tubes or extra oxygen after birth, and they spent less time in the hospital.
Nineteen percent of induced moms had a cesarean versus 22 percent of the others. Doctors estimate that one C-section would be avoided for every 28 women induced.
Nine percent of induced women developed dangerous high blood pressure at the end of pregnancy versus 14 percent of the others. Study participants who were induced, such as Aleksa Owen, said they had less pain and felt more in control.
"I was pretty open to any kind of birth, whatever works to keep the baby safe and myself safe as well," said Owen, a 34-year-old graduate student from the Chicago suburb of Woodridge, Illinois. Her son was born in October 2016 and "I felt like I had a sense of control throughout the process."
It's not clear which option costs more; researchers plan to study that. Induced women spent more time in the labor and delivery unit but went home sooner after birth. Insurers often pay a fixed rate for births, complicating cost comparisons.
The labor and delivery suite is one of the most expensive places in a hospital, said Dr. Nanette Santoro, OB-GYN chief at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. If all eligible moms decided to be induced, "I do not believe we would have the resources to accommodate them," but may have to adapt based on this study, she said.
WHAT OTHERS THINK
Christen Sadler, a certified nurse-midwife and president-elect of Lamaze International, said other research suggests that "letting labor start on its own is almost always best for moms and babies" unless there's a problem that requires intervening.
Nan Strauss, policy chief for the advocacy group Every Mother Counts, agreed: "Inducing labor disrupts the complex hormonal processes that help labor progress, prepare the baby for birth, and promote successful breastfeeding and bonding."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine says it's reasonable for doctors to offer labor induction "after discussing the options thoroughly" with first-time moms at low risk who had an ultrasound early in pregnancy to verify when they will reach 39 weeks.
Dr. Michael Greene of Massachusetts General Hospital noted that women in the study were younger than U.S. mothers on average and fewer were over 35, calling into question how generalizable the results are.
Still, the study "should reassure women that elective induction of labor at 39 weeks is a reasonable choice" that's unlikely to harm moms or babies, he wrote in a commentary in the journal.
London, Jul 26 (AP/UNB) — Paul McCartney is planning a return to the famous Liverpool club credited with being the birthplace of the Beatles.
McCartney is set to take the stage at the Cavern Club for an exclusive performance on Thursday. The Fab Four played at the cellar bar — now located across the street from its original venue — in their early years.
The Beatle dropped a hint about the gig during an appearance on Wednesday at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.
He told Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, who was hosting a question and answer session, that "we have a little secret gig somewhere in Liverpool."
McCartney paid tribute to the other Beatles when asked about the best musicians he had ever worked with.
Portland, Jul 11 (AP/UNB) — A transgender former middle school student who fought to use the bathroom of her choice in Maine is preparing for her big screen debut.
Nicole Maines is starring in the indie horror film "Bit" as a transgender teen trying to co-exist with and understand a group of feminist vampires in Los Angeles.
Maines has been attending the University of Maine but her father tells the Portland Press Herald that she's leaving to focus on acting. The 20-year-old made her TV acting debut three years ago in the USA Network series "Royal Pains." She's also appeared in documentaries as herself.
The state supreme court ruled in 2014 that her rights were violated when school officials would not allow the transgender fifth-grader to use the girls' bathroom.
Dhaka, Jun 21 (UNB) – Commemorating International Day of Yoga 2018, Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Thursday organised an event at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital where thousands of people from all walks of life wearing yellow T-shirts joined.
The programme included yoga demonstration, a mass yoga session and a lucky draw. Entry to the event was free.
This year, over 10,000 yoga enthusiasts attended it.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, State Minister for Sports and Youth Dr Biren Sikder, Deputy Sports and Youth Minister Arif Khan Joy and Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla, among others, were present at the programme.
Diplomats, film celebrities, national players, singers and dancers were also present.
In a Facebook post, the Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka wrote, “Great turnout of over 10,000 enthusiastic participants at the 4th International Day of Yoga in Dhaka, Bangladesh, including Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Sports Minister of the Govt of Bangladesh; celebrities; Ambassadors of Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, Afghanistan, USA, Vietnam, Switzerland, Vatican, EU; and UNFPA Rep.”
In 2017, there was a record turnout of around 5000 yoga enthusiasts at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in the city, said the High Commission.
On June 12, several celebrities of Bangladesh joined the Indian High Commission in Dhaka at the curtain raiser of the International Day of Yoga 2018.
The United Nations on December 11, 2014, proclaimed June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
The resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and co-sponsored by a record 175 member states.
All participants received, on the first-cum-first-served basis, free yoga mats, t-shirts and gift hampers and a chance to win attractive prizes in the lucky draw.
Prizes in the lucky draw included a Tata Tiago car, a Bajaj motorcycle, a holiday package to a destination in India, a trip to Delhi for a couple and a hospitality package for a couple in a five-star hotel in Dhaka.