Mrs. Kaya Kaçar is currently doing PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Nottingham, UK. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Erciyes, Turkey. She then worked in a public hospital in Turkey, served as a dietitian. She completed her Master in Advanced Dietetic Practice from University of Nottingham. She is fellow in Turkish Dietetic Association. Mrs. Kaya Kaçar is awarded by Turkish Ministry of Education PhD scholarship.
Hidden hunger is a global public health concern with iron and other nutritional deficiencies masked by signs of over nutrition. The inverse relationship between iron status and obesity was first reported in 19621. Reasons why obesity is associated with iron deficiency include inadequate dietary iron intake and increased iron requirements because of increased blood volume2. Impaired duodenal iron absorption, obesity-associated low-grade inflammation influencing iron status and alterations to the iron regulatory protein hepcidin have also been suggested3. The aim of the review is to evaluate interventions which treat iron deficiency anaemia in obese women of reproductive age. The database ‘PubMed-MEDLINE’ was searched using the following key words: iron, status, intervention, obese and adult. Intervention studies involving non-pregnant, women with overweight/obesity of reproductive age (19-49 years) and studies where ≥ one standard assessment measure of iron such as ferritin, haemoglobin, haematocrit and plasma iron were included. Forty-seven articles were assessed against the eligibility criteria and six articles were then included. The literature review has shown that few intervention studies have been designed to address iron deficiency in women of reproductive age who are either overweight or obese. Further, the interventions have not been particularly effective in improving the iron status of this population group but have prevented further deterioration. Although a high protein diet4, breakfast cereals5 and exercise training6 were found to be effective in improving some biomarkers for iron status, more research is needed to better understand the underlying mechanism of iron deficiency among women who are overweight or obese.
Muhammad Asim is an exchange Ph.D. scholar in Population Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He is interested in maternal and child health nutrition, reproductive health, mother and child malnutrition and impacts of socio-cultural values on mother and child health. He has published a number of research articles on mother and child health.
Adequate maternal nutrition during pregnancy is the window of the opportunity to strengthen the health status of mother and fetus to reduce the risk of adverse birth outcomes, such as pre-term birth and low birth weight. In Pakistan, after conceiving pregnancy the food intake for pregnant women drastically decreases due to socio-cultural barriers related to food stigma. The objective of the present study was to explore the major barriers of nutritious food intake during pregnancy. The data were collected from pregnant women through In-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The key informants (lady health workers, midwives, nurses, and gynecologist) were also interviewed to assess the food intake patterns of pregnant women. Before data collection, the research ethics were strictly followed. The collected data were analyzed through thematic analysis. Seven major barriers were identified that limit the food intake of pregnant women. Low food intake due to pregnancy sickness, fear of healthy child, household decision making of food intake of pregnant women, concept of hot and cold food, fear of high blood pressure lack of affordability of nutritious foods, and lack of awareness about diet during pregnancy were found major barriers that hinders the intake of nutritious food during pregnancy. All the nutrient intake barriers during pregnancy are socially and culturally constructed. When women get pregnant, they became choosey for food intake that leads to a number of mother and child health complications. It is suggested that the misconception of food intake during pregnancy should be discouraged from antenatal care visits through proper counseling. It is also suggested that government should launch policy measures to provide the food supplements to pregnant women to increase the trends of antenatal care during pregnancy and improve the nutritional status of pregnant women.