Women’s nutrition is often eclipsed by maternal nutrition. However, with reduced childbearing and longer life spans, women’s experiences extend beyond motherhood. This study by SDSN member Jess Fanzo and colleagues summarizes the impact delivery platforms of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions targeting women in various life stages in low- and middle-income countries.

The authors find that nutrition interventions largely targeted women who were pregnant and lactating or with young children. Community-based settings, compared with facility-based settings, more equitably reached women across the life course. However, the evidence of their impact on women’s nutritional outcomes was less clear. In addition, there are major research and programming gaps for targeting overweight, obesity, and non-communicable disease.

Focused efforts on women during pregnancy and in the first years postpartum fail to address the interrelation and compounding nature of nutritional disadvantages that are perpetuated across many women’s lives. In order for policies and interventions to more effectively address inequities faced by women, and not only women as mothers, it is essential that they reflect on how, when, and where to engage with women across the life course.