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Socio-economic planning: legislative measures for improvement of the nutritional status of the mother/child dyad.
In: Hambraeus L, Sjolin S, eds. The mother/child dyad: nutritional aspects. Stockholm, Almqvist and Wiksell, 1979. 143-9. (Symposia of the Swedish Nutrition Foundation 15)Many legislative measures aimed at improving maternal and child nutrition were adopted by developed countries during the 20th century and some of these measures were also adopted by developing countries. These measures were reviewed and recent efforts by international, national, and institutional bodies to formulate policies to deal with nutritional problems were discussed. Measures adopted during the: 1900s with varying degrees of success included: 1) the introduction of nutritional programs into the school curriculum; 2) programs to reduce maternal nutritional deficiencies during the pregnancy; 3) measures to delay the age at marriage; 4) improvements in prenatal care; 5) hospital based programs to educate postpartum women in child nutrition; 6) programs aimed at promoting breastfeeding; 4) programs to provide low cost supplementary weaning foods; and 8) efforts to regulate the manufacture and sale of baby food products. At the international level various bodies have recommended the adoption of measures to improve working conditions for lactating and pregnant women and to reduce abusive marketing practices. At the national level, Algeria adopted policies aimed at promoting breastfeeding and improving nutritional standards through a variety of programs. China successfully promoted breastfeeding by adopting measures which make it easier for working women to breastfeed. France recently adopted policies aimed at regulating the sale of infant food products. In the future more efforts should be directed toward designing nutritional programs which take into account the needs of the local community and which provide nutritional services as an integral part of maternal and child health and community health services. Attention should also be directed toward improving the nutritional knowledge of the public and of the health professional.