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Nutrient Gaps and Supplement Acceptability Among Adolescent Girls

Carl Lachat of Ghent University in Belgium and Firehiwot Workneh of Addis Continental Institute of Public Health in Ethiopia will assess nutrient gaps in adolescent girls and the feasibility of providing supplements to break intergenerational cycles of poor growth and development in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. Annually, around 21 million adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries become mothers, with their infants at increased risk of impaired development. This may be caused by nutrient competition as both pregnancy and adolescence are nutrient-demanding phases. Supplementation with balanced energy-protein (BEP) during pregnancy increases birth weight with sustained benefits during infancy, but how this intervention could be tailored to adolescent girls is unclear. They will use a probability of adequacy approach to evaluate the diets and nutrition of 200 adolescent girls. They will also assess adolescent girls’ acceptability of paying for and taking BEP supplements in rural settings using group discussions and questionnaires.

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