Helpdesk Report: Education interventions and their impact on nutrition



Produce a report focused on nutrition interventions and their impact on school age children. In addition, also consider a focus on any nutrition impacts on children of under two years of age (possibly indirect i.e. through intergenerational channels).


Nutrition interventions in schools and for school age children are covered in sections 2 and 3. These sections look at general school health and nutrition programmes, micronutrients, school feeding, de-worming, nutrition interventions for school age children, improved hygiene, cash transfers, zinc supplementation and adolescent nutrition.

Information on nutrition interventions for children under 2 years old is in section 4. This looks at undernutrition, poor foetal growth, stunting, chronic diseases and the importance of maternal nutrition.

Indirect beneficiaries of nutrition interventions are covered in section 5. The national costs of malnutrition are very high; a vicious intergenerational cycle of poor health, high death rates, poor quality of life, decreased mental capacity and reduced worker productivity. There is ample evidence that the intergenerational cycle of growth failure could be turned into a virtuous cycle. Birth weight can be rapidly improved, even in populations of short adult women. Improving the diet in quantity and quality can help achieve this. The effects seem to be greater if the mother is reached either during or preferably before the first semester of pregnancy.

Information on School Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) is in section 6. This emphasises the complete elimination of open defecation from the catchments of the schools as a pre requisite for improving hygiene and sanitation. It uses schools to lead these programmes and involves children and the local community in the process, with participatory rural appraisal tools being central to this.


Thompson, S.; Holley, C. Helpdesk Report: Education interventions and their impact on nutrition. Human Development Resource Centre, UK (2012) 36 pp.

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