Nutrition research in Mozambique

MozambiqueZANE Study (Estudo do Estado Nutricional e da Dieta em Raparigas Adolescentes na Zambézia) focuses on the nutrition of adolescent girls in Zambézia Province, Central Mozambique. Our main partner in Mozambique is the Food Security and Nutrition Association (ANSA). The project is led by Professor Marja Mutanen.

In developing countries, children and women suffer the most from hunger and adverse effects of malnutrition. It has been estimated that maternal and child undernutrition is the underlying cause of more than 3 million child deaths yearly. Teen-age pregnancies are common in African countries and adolescent girls may thus be an especially vulnerable group. However, there has been very little research on the nutritional status of adolescents in developing countries.

Our aim is to study the food consumption, dietary intake and nutritional status among 15 to 18-year-old adolescent girls living in Zambézia Province. Data was collected in 2010 during two seasons, January-February (hungry season) and May-June (harvest season). Dietary intake was assessed by the 24-hour recall method and the nutritional status through anthropometry and a variety of biochemical measurements. One of the objectives of the study is to explore the differences in the diet and nutritional status among girls living in urban and rural areas.

Before the ZANE Study we carried out a preliminary project during which we gathered information on the food selection, food beliefs and the use of wild plants and mushrooms as food in Zambézia. We also compiled a new food composition table of Mozambican foods. The table consists mainly of food composition data from other countries but we complemented the data by collecting and analysing samples of some local foods, including wild fruits, green leafy vegetables and mushrooms.

Report of the preliminary project English
Report of the preliminary project Portuguese
Food composition tables for Mozambique
Food composition database for Mozambique (for NutriSurvey program)

Principal investigator: Marja Mutanen
Research group: Riitta Freese, Liisa Korkalo, Helena Hauta-alus.

More info (Tuhat)