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A Longitudinal Analysis of the Patterns and Determinants of Women’s Nutrition in the Philippines


Adair, Linda S.; Popkin, Barry M.; Bisgrove, Eilene; & Barba, Corazon V. C. (1990). A Longitudinal Analysis of the Patterns and Determinants of Women's Nutrition in the Philippines. Washington, D.C., USA: International Center for Research on Women.


Between 1983-1986, health workers gathered data on 2867 slightly malnourished women in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and followed them until 24 months postpartum to determine the relationship of their work and income to diet and the relationship of lactation to diet and nutritional status. The average intakes of energy and nutrients rose from the 3rd trimester to 2 months postpartum to fall consistently below baseline levels at 6 and 14 months. Yet the mean levels for energy, calcium, and iron remained much lower than FAO/WHO recommended levels at every stage, especially for lactating women. Urban women always ate considerably more fat, protein, and energy than rural women (p<.001). Further, after the researchers adjusted for income of others in the household, urban women's own income had a substantial positive effect on energy intake (p,.01). For example, for every additional 160 pesos/week of women's own income, nutrient intake would rise by 200kcal/day. On the other hand, for rural women, women's work had a significant negative effect on dietary intake (p<.05) and own income had a slight and insignificant positive effect on intake. Education significantly affected nutrient intake in both rural and urban women (p<.01). Indeed for each additional year of education food consumption increased 38kcal/day for urban women and 26kcal/day for rural women. Lactation had a significant negative effect on maternal weight, especially for urban women who breast fed for >12 months postpartum and for rural women who breast fed for >24 months (p<.01). Further 67% had net weight losses between 2-24 months postpartum. In addition, the longer the recuperation period from the nutritional stresses of lactation the more likely women would regain weight lost. This stressed the benefit of birth spacing. moreover for every additional 100kcal women ate, urban women weighted on average 2.3kg more and rural women weighted 1.5kg more (p<.01 and p<.05 respectively).

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Adair, Linda S.
Popkin, Barry M.
Bisgrove, Eilene
Barba, Corazon V. C.