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To report on the prevalence of different types of breast-milk substitutes (BMS) marketing and the compliance of such marketing with the ‘Control of Marketing of Infant and Young Child Food Act 2017’ (The Act) and the ‘International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code)’ in Thailand.
Cross-sectional quantitative study, guided by the WHO/UNICEF NetCode Periodic Assessment Protocol.
Health facilities and retail outlets in Bangkok, Thai media.
Mothers of 0–2-year-old children, health professionals, promotions at retail outlets and health facilities, product labels, marketing on television and the internet.
Marketing to mothers was highly prevalent, mostly from electronic or digital media, while BMS companies provided items to health professionals to distribute to mothers. Promotional materials in health facilities displayed company brands or logos. At retail outlets, most promotions were price-related. Approximately two-fifths of labels contained nutrition or health claims. Television marketing was growing-up-milk (GUM) advertisements, while internet promotions were varied from price-related materials to product reviews. Most instances of non-compliant BMS marketing with the Act were advertisements to mothers, and most were infant formula. Most non-compliant BMS marketing with the WHO Code was mainly concerned GUM, which are not covered by the Act and appeared in the media.
BMS marketing does not fully comply with the Act or the WHO Code. The Thai government should conduct regular monitoring and enforcement activities, educate health professionals, and strengthen the Act’s provisions on the media and GUM to fully align with the WHO Code.
We assessed the role of home visits by Shasthya Shebika (SS) – female volunteer community health workers (CHWs) – in improving the distribution of micronutrient powder (MNP), and explored the independent effects of caregiver–provider interaction on coverage variables.
We used data from three cross-sectional surveys undertaken at baseline (n 1927), midline (n 1924) and endline (n 1540) as part of an evaluation of a home fortification programme. We defined an exposure group as one that had at least one SS visit to the caregiver’s household in the 12 months preceding the survey considering three outcome variables – message (ever heard), contact (ever used) and effective coverage (regular used) of MNP. We performed multiple logistic regressions to explore the determinants of coverage, employed an ‘interaction term’ and calculated an odds ratio (OR) to assess the modifying effect of SS’s home visits on coverage.
Sixty-eight sub-districts from ten districts of Bangladesh.
Children aged 6–59 months and their caregivers.
A home visit from an SS positively impacts message coverage at both midline (ratio of OR 1·70; 95 % CI 1·25, 2·32; P < 0·01) and endline (ratio of OR 3·58; 95 % CI 2·22, 5·78; P < 0·001), and contact coverage both at midline (ratio of OR 1·48; 95 % CI 1·06, 2·07; P = 0·021) and endline (ratio of OR 1·74; 95 % CI 1·23, 2·47; P = 0·002). There was no significant effect of a SS’s home visit on effective coverage.
The households visited by BRAC’s volunteer CHWs have better message and contact coverage among the children aged 6–59 months.
This paper focuses on the use of ‘concurrent evaluation’ to evaluate a nationally scaled-up programme in Bangladesh that was implemented by BRAC (an international development organisation) using Shasthya Shebika (SS) – volunteer community health workers – to promote home fortification with micronutrient powders (MNP) for children under-five.
We developed a programme impact pathway to conceptualise the implementation and evaluation strategy and developed a strategic partnership among the key programme stakeholders for better use of evaluation evidence. We developed a multi-method concurrent evaluation strategy to provide insights into the BRAC programme and created provision for course correction to the implementation plan while it was in operation.
One hundred sixty-four sub-districts and six urban slums in Bangladesh.
Caregivers of children 6–59 months, SS and BRAC’s staff members.
The evaluation identified low awareness about home fortification among caregivers, inadequate supply and frequent MNP stockouts, and inadequate skills of BRAC’s SS to promote MNP at the community level as hindrances to the achievement of programme goals. The partners regularly discussed evaluation results during and after implementation activities to assess progress in programme coverage and any needs for modification. BRAC initiated a series of corrections to the original implementation plan to address these challenges, which improved the design of the MNP programme; this resulted in enhanced programme outcomes.
Concurrent evaluation is an innovative approach to evaluate complex real-world programmes. Here it was utilised in implementing a large-scale nutrition programme to measure implementation process and effectiveness.
The aim of this paper is to identify and develop a comprehensive conceptual framework using implementation science that can be applied to assess a nutrition intervention in a real-world setting.
We conducted a narrative review using electronic databases and a manual search to identify implementation science frameworks, models and theories published in peer-reviewed journals. We performed a qualitative thematic analysis of these publications to generate a framework that could be applied to nutrition implementation science.
Based on this review, we developed a comprehensive framework which we have conceptualised as an implementation science process that describes the transition from the use of scientific evidence through to scaling-up with the aim of making an intervention sustainable. The framework consisted of three domains: Domain i – efficacy to effectiveness trials, Domain ii – scaling-up and Domain iii – sustainability. These three domains encompass five components: identifying an ‘effective’ intervention; scaling-up and implementation fidelity; course corrections during implementation; promoting sustainability of interventions and consideration of a comprehensive methodological paradigm to identify ‘effective’ interventions and to assess the process and outcome indicators of implementation. The framework was successfully applied to a nutrition implementation program in Bangladesh.
Our conceptual framework built from an implantation science perspective offers a comprehensive approach supported by a foundational and holistic understanding of its key components. This framework provides guidance for implementation researchers, policy-makers and programme managers to identify and review an effective intervention, to scale it up and to sustain it over time.
BRAC, an international development organization based in Bangladesh, engages community health workers called Shasthya Shebikas (SS) to implement home fortification of foods with micronutrient powders (MNP). We identified factors associated with home visits by SS, at different levels of the BRAC programme-delivery hierarchy, to implement home-fortification interventions.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey, semi-structured interviews, and collected programme-related data from sub-districts included in the caregiver survey of BRAC’s home-fortification programme and performed multilevel logistic regression modelling to investigate factors associated with home visits by SS.
Sixty-eight sub-districts in Bangladesh.
Caregivers of children aged 6–59 months (n 1408) and BRAC’s SS (n 201).
Households with older children (0·55; 0·42, 0·72; P < 0·001) and located >300 m from the SS’s house (0·67; 0·50, 0·89; P = 0·006) were less likely to have been visited by the SS, whereas those with caregivers who had ≥5 years of schooling (1·53; 1·10, 2·12; P = 0·011) were more likely to have been visited by the SS (adjusted OR; 95 % CI). Households in the catchment area of older SS aged >50 years (0·44; 0·21, 0·90; P = 0·025) were less likely to have been visited by the SS, whereas those with SS who received incentives of >800 BDT (3·00; 1·58, 5·58; P = 0·001) were more likely to have been visited by the SS (adjusted OR; 95 % CI).
The number of home visits is a function of the characteristics of SS, factors that characterize the households they serve and characteristics of their organizational context, particularly to implement home fortification of foods with MNP.
Prehospital emergency care is cost-effective for improving morbidity and mortality of emergency conditions. However, such care has been discounted in the public health system of many lower middle-income countries (LMICs). Where it exists, the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system is grossly inadequate, unpopular, and misrepresented. Many EMS reviews in developing countries have identified systemic problems with infrastructure and human resources, but they neglected impacts of sociocultural factors. This study examines the sociocultural dimensions of LMICs’ prehospital emergency systems in order to improve the quality and impact of emergency care in those countries.
Qualitative studies on EMS systems in LMICs were systematically reviewed and analyzed using Kleinman’s health system theory of folk, popular, and professional health sectors. Also, the three-delay model of emergency care – seeking, reaching, and receiving – provided a guiding framework.
The search yielded over 3,000 papers and the inclusion criteria eventually selected 14, with duplicates and irrelevant papers as the most frequent exclusion. Both user and provider experiences with emergency conditions and the processes of prehospital care were described. Sociocultural factors such as trust and beliefs underlay the way emergency care was experienced. Attitudes of family and community shaped service-seeking behaviors. Traditional medicine was often the first point of care. Private vehicles were the main transportation for accessing care due to distrust and misunderstanding of ambulance services.
The findings led to the discussion on how culture is woven into the patients’ pathway to care, and the recommendation for any future development to place a far greater emphasis on this aspect. Instead of relying purely on the biomedical sector, the health system should acknowledge and show respect for popular knowledge and folk belief. Such strategies will improve trust, facilitate information exchange, and enable stronger healer-patient relationships.
To examine socio-economic status (SES) and time-related factors associated with less healthy food purchases in Australia.
Data were from the 2009/10 Household Expenditure Survey (HES) conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Regression analysis was used to examine the associations between the proportion of the household food budget spent on various food types (processed and unprocessed foods, foods purchased from takeaways and restaurants) and SES and time constraint variables.
Nationally representative sample of Australian households.
Household income seems to be the most important correlate with food expenditure patterns once other SES indicators are controlled for. Time constraints appear to explain some, but not all, of the adjusted SES gradients in food expenditure. Comparing home food consumption categories (processed and unprocessed foods) with foods purchased away from home (takeaway and restaurant foods) shows that wealthier, more highly educated and least disadvantaged households spend relatively less of their total food budget on processed and unprocessed foods prepared at home and more on foods purchased away from home at restaurants.
Simple SES gradients in dietary behaviour are influenced by correlations between different SES indicators and between SES and time constraints. Examining these factors separately obscures some of the possible causal effects of disadvantage on healthy eating. When formulating policy responses to unhealthy diets, policy makers should consider alternative sources of disadvantage, including time pressure.
To identify barriers to fruit and vegetable intake for Indigenous Australian children and quantify factors related to these barriers, to help understand why children do not meet recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake.
We examined factors related to carer-reported barriers using multilevel Poisson models (robust variance); a key informant focus group guided our interpretation of findings.
Eleven diverse sites across Australia.
Australian Indigenous children and their carers (N 1230) participating in the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children.
Almost half (45 %; n 555/1230) of carers reported barriers to their children’s fruit and vegetable intake. Dislike of fruit and vegetables was the most common barrier, reported by 32·9 % of carers; however, we identified few factors associated with dislike. Carers were more than ten times less likely to report barriers to accessing fruit and vegetables if they lived large cities v. very remote areas. Within urban and inner regional areas, child and carer well-being, financial security, suitable housing and community cohesion promoted access to fruit and vegetables.
In this national Indigenous Australian sample, almost half of carers faced barriers to providing their children with a healthy diet. Both remote/outer regional carers and disadvantaged urban/inner regional carers faced problems accessing fruit and vegetables for their children. Where vegetables were accessible, children’s dislike was a substantial barrier. Nutrition promotion must address the broader family, community, environmental and cultural contexts that impact nutrition, and should draw on the strengths of Indigenous families and communities.
To investigate trends in five key aspects of Australian food practice which have been implicated in diet-related health risks, specifically energy intake. They are: the replacement of home-prepared foods by commercially prepared foods; consumer reliance on ultra-processed foods; de-structured dining; increased pace of eating; and a decline in commensal eating.
Data were from repeated cross-sections from the national Household Expenditure and Time Use Surveys. Trends in food practice aspects were examined using indicators of food expenditure across different food groups and time spent eating and cooking, including where, when and with whom eating activities took place.
Nationally representative samples of Australian households.
The share of the total food budget spent on food away from home rose steadily from 22·8 % in 1989 to 26·5 % in 2010, while spending on ultra-processed foods increased. The basic patterning of meals and the pace of eating changed little, although people spent more time eating alone and at restaurants. Cooking time declined considerably, particularly for women.
These changes have occurred over the same time that obesity and diet-related, non-communicable diseases have increased rapidly in Australia. Some aspects are implicated more than others: particularly the shift from domestic cooking to use of pre-prepared and ultra-processed foods, a reduction in time spent in food preparation and cooking, as well as an upsurge in time and money devoted to eating away from home. These are all likely to operate through the higher energy content of commercially prepared, compared with unprocessed or lightly processed, foods.
To investigate evolving food retail systems in Thailand.
Rapid assessment procedures based on qualitative research methods including interviews, focus groups discussions and site visits.
Seven fresh markets located in the four main regions of Thailand.
Managers, food specialists, vendors and shoppers from seven fresh markets who participated in interviews and focus group discussions.
Fresh markets are under economic pressure and are declining in number. They are attempting to resist the competition from supermarkets by improving convenience, food diversity, quality and safety.
Obesity has increased in Thailand at the same time as rapid growth of modern food retail formats has occurred. As fresh markets are overtaken by supermarkets there is a likely loss of fresh, healthy, affordable food for poorer Thais, and a diminution of regional culinary culture, women's jobs and social capital, with implications for the health and nutrition transition in Thailand.
A preliminary investigation into different eating patterns among Thai consumers who shop at fresh markets as opposed to supermarkets in Chiang Mai.
A short questionnaire adopted from a previous study was administered to the forty-four participants, who comprised supermarket users, fresh market users and people who consistently shopped at both supermarkets and fresh markets.
Participants were recruited within four fresh markets and two food courts attached to supermarkets in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai residents who agreed to participate in the study. Equal numbers were regular fresh market and supermarket users.
Initial results suggest an association between shopping at supermarkets and attributing bread with culinary value.
Supermarkets may be potentially significant players in the ‘nutrition transition’, providing Thais more convenient shopping at some cost to their healthy food choices.
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