Early nutrition and optimal fetal and infant growth
As illustrated in the Figure, between the introduction of weaning foods at around 4-6 months of age and up until 24 months rural Gambian infants follow a pathway of profound growth faltering. For several decades, ING (and formerly through the MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit) has invested considerable effort in trying to prevent this early growth faltering. However, despite huge progress in improving under 5 mortality and in reducing the prevalence of diarrhoea and other infections, little progress has been made in identifying early interventions that work to improve infant growth. There is a need to define the causal pathways for this growth failure so that interventions can be appropriately targeted. In this sub-theme, we will investigate the mechanisms that contribute to aberrant fetal and infant growth.
Selected ongoing studies: