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Guatemala: Workshop “Optifood in Guatemala”.

Ms. Elaine Ferguson, at the Workshop “Use of Optifood to develop evidence-based dietary intake recommendations for infants and young children and pregnant and lactating women in the Western of Guatemala”.From November 12 to 17, 2012 at INCAP Auditorium it is conducted by FANTA III Project, from USAID, the Workshop “Use of Optifood to develop evidence-based dietary intake recommendations for infants and young children and pregnant and lactating women in the Western of Guatemala”.

 

The consultants for the activity are Ms. Elaine Ferguson &  Ms.  Monica Woldt, from FANTA III Project. A group of professionals from the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), are participating in this workshop.

 

During 2011, USAID/Guatemala requested FANTA-2 Bridge to address linkages between agriculture and nutrition to improve the chronic malnutrition situation, and to support the development of the Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan for the Western Highlands (PLANOCC). USAID’s request to FANTA is part of its strategy to have an integrated program that includes health, nutrition, agriculture, local governance, and water for human consumption among other interventions being deployed by the United States Government (USG) in five prioritized departments of the country: Huehuetenango, Quezaltenango, Quiche, San Marcos and Totonicapan.

 

As a part of its work to address linkages between agriculture and nutrition, FANTA III entered into an agreement with INCAP to carry out an information gathering activity related to maternal and child feeding practices. The activity involved collection of dietary data from pregnant and lactating women and children 6-24 months of age from selected municipalities in two of the five departments prioritized by USAID in its FtF/GHI initiative (Quiche and San Marcos). Market data on the costs of foods was also collected. The data will be analyzed in Optifood to develop food-based recommendations for children under 2 years of age (6-11 months and 12-23 months) and pregnant and lactating women in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.

 

Optifood is a simple and robust software based on linear programming that allows public Workshop “Use of Optifood to develop evidence-based dietary intake recommendations for infants and young children and pregnant and lactating women in the Western of Guatemala”.health professionals to rapidly formulate and test population-specific food-based recommendations.  Optifood facilitates the entry of data, the presentation of outputs, and the management of stored entries and output for modeling food and nutrient intake. The software program was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance II Project (FANTA-2) and an information technology company, b-i. Specifically, Optifood allows users to:  

  • formulate food based recommendations
  • identify locally available nutrient dense foods that are important for improving dietary quality
  • test food-based recommendations to determine whether they are likely to ensure a nutritionally adequate diet if they are successfully adopted
  • identify key problem nutrients i.e., those which the local food supply are unlikely to provide in adequate amounts
  • compare alternative food-based strategies on the basis of cost and likely reduction in the prevalence of nutrient inadequacies
  • identify the lowest cost nutritionally adequate diet.

Workshop objectives

 

The overall objective of the Optifood Workshop in Guatemala is to develop evidence-based dietary intake recommendations for infants and young children and pregnant and lactating women in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.

The specific objectives of the workshop include:

  • familiarize participants with Optifood use through a simple example
  • ensure the Guatemala data are appropriately finalized for analysis in Optifood
  • create and finalize all target group files for analysis in Optifood
  • load final food composition table into participants’ Optifood software
  • guide participants through analysis of Guatemala data with Optifood.
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