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Frontiers in Women’s Nutrition: Agenda for Research and Action

February 8, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

On Friday, February 8, Parul Christian, DrPH, MSc, will present Frontiers in Women’s Nutrition: Agenda for Research and Action as part of the Carolina Population Center 2018-2019 Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.
Parul Christian leads the Women’s Nutrition portfolio as Senior Program Officer on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Nutrition Program Team in Global Development. She is also Professor of International Health and Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Christian’s nutrition research has contributed policy relevant knowledge related to the impact of maternal and infant/child nutrition interventions in improving pregnancy-related outcomes, including fetal growth, maternal and infant health and survival, child growth, as well as long-term outcomes of child cognition, and cardiometabolic risk.

Christian is hosted by Carolina Population Center Fellow Margaret E. Bentley. Bentley is the Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Associate Dean for Global Health, and Associate Director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Friday, Feb 8
Carolina Square Room 2002
123 West Franklin Street
Location information is here.


Women and girls hold roles in their communities that make them drivers of development as individuals, and influencers of the health and well-being of their families. To equip women and girls to succeed in school, maximize work productivity and have their own healthy children in the future, they must receive the appropriate nutrition right from the start. In this way, well-nourished girls and women can achieve their potential and meaningfully contribute to their communities. Globally, about 23 million children are born small-for-gestational age (SGA), 15 million are preterm birth, and around 160 million children are stunted by the end of the first two years of life. Maternal underweight, short stature, inadequate pregnancy weight gain, and micronutrient deficiencies contribute to the high burden of SGA, which is associated with an increased risk of infant mortality, childhood stunting, and poor neurodevelopment. Efficacious nutritional interventions during pregnancy include supplementation with balanced energy-protein, iron-folic acid, and multiple micronutrients. However, constraints exist in the availability of nutritious food products that can be used for supplementing women, requiring more research on product development. More research is also needed to fully combat the problem of adverse pregnancy outcomes of preterm birth, pre-eclampsia (PE), and stillbirth. For example, low dose calcium may work to reduce the risk of PE, which is currently hard to implement in large scale programs due to cost and adherence barriers. Risk factors such as maternal young age, prepregnancy underweight and stunting, and prevention

/treatment of maternal infections require new and multi-pronged strategies in adolescence and preconception; addressing these in part may alleviate a significant burden of fetal growth failure and preterm birth. Data show that growth failure in the first 6 months of life is high in part related to small birth size, but maternal nutritional support during lactation may also be important. Thus, there is an overwhelming need to combine implementation learning with new research to impact the nutritional wellbeing of pregnant and lactating women, women of reproductive age, and young girls – a neglected agenda in low and middle income settings. The talk will highlight the priorities and new frontiers in women’s nutrition.

Instructors: To arrange for class attendance, contact CPC at by the Monday before the seminar

Streaming may be available and must be arranged at least one week in advance.

This seminar is part of the Carolina Population Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.


February 8, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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