Malnutrition

UNICEF

As in other public health fields, nutrition epidemiology tries to make sense out of the data. This includes the analysis of complex data sets to test hypotheses on the causes of malnutrition, and the assessment of indicators that are critical to monitor and evaluate nutrition programs.

I can assist with planning and managing studies to identify the complex web of causation of malnutrition among children. These include the analysis of anthropometric surveys to build hypothesis on the causes of malnutrition to inform programmes' design and to monitor and evaluate the performance of nutrition programmes.

Examples include

(a) In Uganda I have managed several cross-sectional surveys on representative samples of the population to measure the prevalence of malnutrition among children less than 5-year old.

(b) I have managed longitudinal studies to identify determinants of childhood malnutrition and mortality. This included a study carried out on a sample of more than 4000 children less than 5-year old from the Ugandan district of Mbarara. The value added result of this study was the estimation of sensitivity and specificity of anthropometric indicators and threshold values in predicting child mortality controlling for the confounding effect of age and social class.

(c) I have analysed secondary data to estimate the effect of active and silent prophylaxis on goitre decline in Italy . The passive prophylaxis is due to the availability and consumption of iodine-reach products as a consequence of socioeconomic development, in the absence of compulsory iodine fortification of salt, water or other products. Using published data from urinary iodine excretion and goitre prevalence surveys carried out in Italy between the 1970s and the 1990s, I succeeded in estimating the effect of the silent and the active prophylaxis on the annual decline of goitre in Italy.  I have been the author of a chapter of the Comprehensive Handbook of Iodine.