My principal interests are in designing, developing, and testing interventions and strategies to improve maternal and child nutrition, particularly in developing countries. Drawing on my background in medical anthropology, I focus on the use of mixed methods to obtain and analyze information for formative research and program evaluation on delivery of services and household utilization of nutrition and health interventions, with an emphasis on methods that are feasible for implementation at a public health level. Currently my primary area of substantive interest is “complementary feeding,” which refers to feeding infants after the point at which breastmilk alone is inadequate to meet their nutritional needs. I focus especially on feeding behaviors, including the concept of “responsive feeding.” I am also conducting research on the role of premastication of foods for infants by their mothers, examined from an evolutionary, bio-cultural perspective.
|Current Professional Activities:|
I am active in various groups that are involved in furthering research and program development in the area of infant and young child feeding, most notably GAIN (the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition), Helen Keller Internatinal, and WHO. I also work actively with the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition.
|Current Research Activities:|
My research is focused primarily on infant and young child feeding. My research activities involve investigations of caregivers and the household and community contexts of infant and young child feeding, investigating feeding behaviors from the perspectives of women and families, and the delivery of nutrition interventions. I am also involved in implementation research.
Recent (2012) publications:
Dufour D, Goodman A, Pelto G.H. (2012) Nutritional Anthropology: Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition. Second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
Goto K, Tiffany J, Pelto GH, Pelletier D. (2012) Young people’s experiences in youth-led participatory action research for HIV/AIDS prevention. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies. 4:396-408.
Monterrosa, E. C., Pelto, G. H., Frongillo, E. A., & Rasmussen, K. M. (2012). Constructing maternal knowledge frameworks: How mothers conceptualize complementary feeding. Appetite. 59 (2): 377–384
Affleck, W., Pelto, G. (2012). Caregivers’ responses to an intervention to improve young child feeding behaviors in Rural Bangladesh: A Mixed Method Study of the facilitators and barriers to change. Social Science & Medicine.75: 651-658.
Habicht, J. P., & Pelto, G. H. (2012). Multiple micronutrient interventions are efficacious, but research on adequacy, plausibility, and implementation needs attention. The Journal of Nutrition, 142(1), 205S-209S.