In Rajasthan, India, dietary intake among pregnant and lactating women (PLW) is nearly 30% lower than the level currently recommended by the Indian Medical Research Council for calories and protein in the third trimester of pregnancy or during exclusive breastfeeding. Maternal nutrition is critical for fetal growth and development and for optimizing nutrient levels in breast milk. It was also recently found that stunted children had significantly lower serum concentrations of all essential amino acids than non-stunted children.2 This emphasizes the importance of good protein quality and might be the reason why micronutrient and lipid supplement interventions have mostly had a modest impact on maternal nutritional status and child growth.
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