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Proceedings of the ILSI SEA Region 4th Expert Consultation and Planning Meeting on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition: Nutrition of Pregnant Adolescents in Southeast Asia


Malaysian Journal of Nutrition. 2015;21(2):127-138

In August 2014, the ILSI SEAR Infant and Early Childhood Nutrition Task Force held the 4th Expert Consultation and Planning Meeting on Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) in Jakarta, Indonesia. The consultation focused on the nutrition and health situation of pregnant adolescents. The objectives were therefore to: (1) discuss the current nutrition and health situation of pregnant and non-pregnant adolescent girls in six Southeast Asian countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam); (2) generate recommendations for teenage pregnancies in the region; and (3) identify regional issues, knowledge gaps and research priorities in order to improve adolescent health in Southeast Asia. There is very little information on the health and nutrition status of pregnant and non-pregnant adolescent girls (aged 10 to 19 years old) in Southeast Asia. In most countries, teenage pregnancy rates are higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Anaemia has been shown to be prevaleent among reproductive aged females (15 to 49 years old). Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam have high levels of underweight adolescent girls. An increasing prevalence of overweight adolescent girls has been found in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. There is a need for increased knowledge and understanding with regard to the health and nutrition status of female adolescents in the region (including micronutrient status and requirements), and factors that predispose girls to early pregnancy. Two types of program packages should be developed – one for adolescent girls who are not pregnant (aimed at promoting health and preventing early pregnancy) and another for those who are pregnant, including post-natal parenting support.

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