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Malnutrition Study: Adolescent Females Group Encouragement Design

By Yusli Harini, Health Team Leader

In collaboration with Udayana University, our 5-year malnutrition study “Developing a Family-Based Nutrition Intervention Model in Ban Village” is now in its 4th year. The study aims to combat infant malnutrition by empowering adolescent females, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers within families. To address the link between maternal nutrition during teenage years and child malnutrition, we initiated an adolescent encouragement program.

Starting in 2019, our research highlighted chronic energy deficiency in females aged 14-19, impacting their overall health. In response, we crafted a 3-stage Peer Education initiative spanning 3 months. Sessions began by stressing nutrition’s role in pregnancy and future generations, addressing malnutrition, Anaemia, and Chronic Energy Deficiency (CED). The second stage tackled body image concerns, promoting positivity to deter unhealthy eating habits. The final phase educated participants on balanced nutrition and essential nutrients, using locally available foods. To make the learning process enjoyable and effective, we employed interactive games and simulations in each meeting.

We tested this design on 64 females in 2021, implementing and evaluating it with 86 adolescent females annually in 2022 and 2023. All peer education sessions concluded in early July and are under analysis. Our team is reassessing participant nutrition and health behaviors from 2021, gauging the intervention model’s long-term efficacy. We’re excited to share our intriguing findings and experiences of other participant groups (pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers) in an upcoming update.

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