Indexed on: 13 Feb '16Published on: 13 Feb '16Published in: Food and nutrition bulletin
Nutritional interventions to help prevent stunting, particularly in the first 1000 days from conception to 2 years of a child's life, are a major focus of numerous food aid organizations worldwide. Dairy ingredients can play an important role in enhancing the nutritional value and effectiveness of food products used in food aid.This article addresses gaps in research on malnutrition from both a broad perspective and specific to dairy ingredients.Narrative review.From a broad perspective, there is a need for gaining a consensus by the research community and funders of research on best practices for protocol development, outcomes measured, and reporting of study outcomes. Identification of biomarkers and rapid screening methods and consistent application of their use would expedite future research. A better understanding of nutritional requirements for malnourished populations, including the effects of energy deficits and disease on those requirements, is needed. More specific to dairy ingredients, a key research question is: Does dairy protein or the package of nutrients provided by dairy ingredients have a unique impact on growth, and if so, how? Also, data on the optimal levels of dairy ingredients based on the effective cost of treatment are needed, particularly in the treatment and prevention of moderate acute malnutrition and during pregnancy.