New study associates breastfeeding with improved performance in intelligence tests
A new study published in The Lancet Global Health in March 2015, associates breastfeeding with improved performance in intelligence tests 30 years later. The population-based birth cohort study of neonates was launched in 1982 in Brazil and gathered information from 3,493 participants. The findings conclude that breastfeeding might have an important effect in real life, by increasing educational attainment and income in adulthood. The study by Cesar G Victora and colleagues is a long-term follow-up of a large sample, from birth in 1982 to 2012–13 to the mean age of 30·2 years. The exposure was breastfeeding and the outcome variables were intelligence—as assessed by a widely used intelligence test (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, 3rd version)—educational attainment, and income. The study contributes important knowledge about three issues related to the effects of breastfeeding on cognitive development:
Preparation is underway for regional workshops this April, on SUN country budget analysis
As of 19th March 2015, preparation of regional workshops on accelerating SUN country tracking of nutrition-relevant budget allocations is progressing with organisation by UNICEF on behalf of the UN Network. The workshops will be closed events with participants upon invitation only. The 32 SUN countries participating in the workshops had responded to a “Call of Interest” during the 17th SUN Network Conference Call in late January 2015 and early February. They are working on identifying the nutrition-relevant allocations in their budgets. A team from the Institute of Development Studies is providing remote support 11 countries who have requested assistance, to compile the financial data based on the sources and parameters provided by the countries. A team from Results for Development is supporting 3 countries. The remaining countries are going through the first step and 9 countries have already shared preliminary data. The participants are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Maharashtra, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.
The SUN Civil Society Network Advocacy Working Group aligns efforts for maximum impact
On 12 March 2015, the SUN Civil Society Network (SUNCSN) convened a second conference call between key stakeholders across the Civil Society Network known as the SUNCSN Advocacy Working Group. During this call, key activities in the coming months were shared to identify where efforts could be aligned for maximum impact in the lead up to high level country meetings on the Sustainable Development Goals. The Advocacy Working Group comes together to rally for nutrition as a crucial element for discussions on indicators and targets. The group also discussed preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil, which represents the moment when global commitments made at the historic Nutrition for Growth Summit will be reviewed.
The group is currently seeking links to relevant advocacy, communications and social mobilisation resources to create an online repository for all stakeholders across the SUN Movement to use.
The second meeting was chaired by Cara Flowers, a Country Support Officer of the SUN Civil Society Network co-ordination team and included representatives from SUN Country Civil Society Alliances, World Vision, Concern Worldwide, Save The Children, WASH advocates, Results, The Institute for Development Studies and the University of Sussex.