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Table 2 Overview of nutrition intervention programs during the MDGs

From: Improving maternal and child nutrition in China: an analysis of nutrition policies and programs initiated during the 2000–2015 Millennium Development Goals era and implications for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Program Target population Implementation area Implementation duration (year) Organizer Content Effect on nutrition improvement
Nutrition package for 6–24 months infants [24, 25] Infants aged 6–24 months in rural areas 341 national poverty counties in 21 provinces* Since 2012 MoH and ACWF Providing a “nutrition package” (complementary food supplement powder, including various nutrient such us protein and micronutrients) free of charge to children aged 6–24 months per day and provision of nutrition knowledge and skills for parents on infant feeding. • One year after the implementation of the project, the anemia rate of infants in the monitored areas dropped from 32.9 to 26.0%, stunting rate dropped from 10.1 to 8.4%, incidence of diarrhea in infants dropped from 14.2 to 9.4%, and average cost of diarrhea in infants aged 6–24 months dropped from 98.8 yuan to 74.4 yuan.
• Parents’ nutrition knowledge significantly improved.
Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) [26] Infants aged 0–3 years in rural areas 160 poverty villages in Shanxi and Guizhou province Since 2013 UNICEF, PAOSC HFPC, ACWF Providing comprehensive interventions, including nutrition supplementation, health service delivery, and child protection to infants aged 0–3 years, to explore intervention models for integrated early childhood development and child protection. The project is still under implementation, and the results of the evaluation have not been released yet.
Improving nutrition, food safety and food security for China’s most vulnerable women and children (CFSN) [27, 28] The high-risk population of 1.2 million children and women of childbearing age In six of the poorest counties in western China 2009–2013 WHO, FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIDO, and WFP, over 20 Chinese ministries at the central and local level • Providing a basis for policy formulation by providing reliable and timely information on the scale, distribution, type, and causes of malnutrition in China.
• Increasing emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding, provision of nutritional supplements, and school-based interventions to develop comprehensive programs to alleviate hunger and malnutrition among children.
• Making production, processing, and production of infant and young child food safer through a regulation of shared responsibility.
• The rate of underweight and stunting for 6 to 23-month-infants decreased by 58.2% and 35.9% respectively.
• The consumed proportion of micronutrient food in the pilot area increased from 21.3 to 30.1%.
• Different groups such as women, children, and teachers have greatly improved their knowledge of food safety knowledge.
• There was a 33.8% decrease in the prevalence of anemia and a 46% decrease in vitamin A deficiency and insufficiency in the pilot areas.
Supplementation of folic acid to prevent neural tube defects [29,30,31] Women in the period of 3 months before pregnancy to the first trimester of pregnancy Rural areas in China Since 2009 MoH Providing folic acid supplements to women in the period of 3 months before pregnancy to the first trimester of pregnancy for free and promotes folic acid knowledge to the gravidas and their families. • After the implementation of this project, the incidence of neonatal neural tube defects in China decreased significantly, from 11.96/10000 in 2000 to 2.18/10000 in 2015.
• The incidence of neural tube defects in China dropped from the 3rd highest incidence of birth defects to 9th.
Nutrition improvement program for rural compulsory education students [32,33,34] Compulsory education students (grades 1 to 9) in rural area Of 699 poverty counties in 21 provinces  and corps# Since 2011 MoE, MoF, MoH, and other 16 departments The government provided nutritional dietary subsidies to rural compulsory education students in poverty areas, with a standard of 3 yuan per person per day (excluding weekend and holiday), which increased to 4 yuan since October 2014. • Data monitored by the China CDC (2012–2015) showed that average height of boys and girls in 2015 was 1.2–1.4 cm higher than that of 2012, and the average weight increased by 0.7 kg and 0.8 kg, which was higher than the average growth rate of rural students in China.
• The anemia rate decreased from 17.0% in 2012 to 7.8% in 2015.
Milk plan for student in China [35, 36] Primary and middle school students in the urban area Urban area Since 2000 Chinese MoA, HGPC, MoE, MoF, etc. Providing “student milk” to primary and middle school students. • It improved the nutritional status of primary and middle school students, expanded the publicity and education of drinking milk and health, and created a good atmosphere for the development of the dairy industry.
• Children’s BMI improved obviously, but the short-term height growth is small; the long-term continuous drinking of student milk has a greater effect on height.
Baby-friendly hospital [37] Pregnant women, lactating women, and baby Whole country Since 1992 HFPC In 1992, China has begun to establish baby-friendly hospitals in accordance with 10 measures to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding by the WHO and UNICEF, which aims to give full play to the important role of hospitals in promoting breastfeeding. No nationwide data for the effects on baby-friendly hospital.
Happy ten minutes [38] Primary students Whole country Since 2012 Chinese CDC and ILSI Focal Point in China Except for the daily physical education curriculum set up in the school, teachers organize a 10-min simple and interesting exercise activity for students on each learning day. • After the implementation of the project, the BMI-Z score of primary school students was improved.
  1. MoH Ministry of Health, ACWF All-China Women’s Federation, PAOSC Poverty Alleviation Office of the State Council, HFPC Health and Family Planning Commission, FAO Food and Agriculture Organization, ILO International Labor Organization, UNDP United Nations Development Program, UNESCO United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNICEF United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization, WFP World Food Program, GAIN Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, MoE Ministry of Education, MoF: Ministry of Finance, MoA Ministry of Agriculture, ILSI International Life Sciences Institute
  2. *21 provinces: Hubei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Xinjiang
  3. #21 provinces and crops: Hubei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Xinjiang, crops