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Problems of nutrition are the largest single contributor to the burden of disease both at the global level and at the national level. In India problems of under-nutrition are an underlying contributor to the high burden of infectious diseases in children and adults. Every third malnourished child in the world lives in India, and almost half of the 4.5 million deaths in children under-five are related to under-nutrition. On the other hand the prevalence of overweight and obesity are also increasing and generating epidemics of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Micronutrient deficiency is widespread especially in women and children. There is need for academic institution to engage with nutrition as a core and cross-cutting issue with a focus on research, capacity building and evidence-based inputs for policy. The Center for Nutrition Studies is being launched to address this need.

The faculty at the Center has generated a body of research over a decade, which has proved that undernutrition in adults in India is the most important contributor to over half of new cases of tuberculosis and is a significant contributor to the high number of deaths occurring in patients with TB. This work has informed policy at a national level, leading also to the government’s initiative in launching a direct benefit transfer scheme for all TB patients to enable access to a better diet.

 

Vision of the Center: A healthy and developed India free of malnutrition, where individuals and communities can attain their true potential

 

 

Mission of the Center: To develop a center for excellence in clinical and public health nutrition; focusing on research and innovation, capacity building of healthcare personnel and engage in health advocacy

 

Objectives:

1.      To conduct quality research on clinical and public health nutrition of relevance to India and similar low-middle income countries.

2.      To build capacity for the components of nutritional care and nutrition research in the University.

3.      To establish linkages with and national and international level institutions in the field of nutrition.

4.      To disseminate and advocate for nutritional issues for policy changes.

 

Ongoing Projects:

1.      Feasibility study to implement select components of the guidance document on nutritional care and support of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP)for patients with Tuberculosis at Dakshina Kannada district, India. Funding agency: Karnataka State RNTCP Task Force.

2.      Pretesting Maternal Nutrition Package under Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA). In partnership with UNICEF.

3.      Development of mobile-based app for patients with Tuberculosis in India for nutrition care and support. Funding agency: RNTCP 

4.      A cross-sectional study to assess the dietary protein-energy intake in the elderly population of Mangalore and its association with sarcopenia. (Student ICMR-STS).

 

Research, Policy, and Innovations

1.       Bhargava A, Kulkarni B, Kurpad A, Bhargava M, Rao R, Parmar M, et al. Guidance Document: Nutritional care and support for patients with tuberculosis in India. Central TB Division. Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Government of India, and Who Country Office India. March 2017. Guidance document final.

2.       N-TB: a mobile based app for nutritional assessment, counselling and support for patients with tuberculosis in India. This was developed in collaboration with McGill University, RNTCP, WHO (India), and was released as a part of new initiatives of the TB programme at the END TB Summit in New Delhi in March 2018, by the Prime Minister Available at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nexa.ntb&hl=en

3.       Development of easy to use BMI-based field charts for nutrition assessment and screening. (Field charts) These were incorporated in the Guidance Document: Nutrition care and support for patients with tuberculosis in India. These have also been adapted for nutrition assessment of pregnant women in first trimester in Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matrutva Abhiyan 

4.       BOOK CHAPTER: Bhargava A, Bhargava M. Nutritional care and support for patients with tuberculosis in India: A primer for general physicians. Lets Talk TB. 3rd ed. Mumbai: GP Clinics; 2017. p. 16-23. 

5.       Bhargava M, Bhargava A. Pyridoxine for patients suffering from drug-susceptible tuberculosis in India. Public Health Action. 2017; 8 (2):97. http://dx.doi.org/10.5588/pha.18.0017.

6.       Bhargava M, Bhargava A, Akshaya KM, Shastri S, Bairi R, Parmar M, Sharath BN. Nutritional assessment and counseling of tuberculosis patients at primary care in India: Do we measure up? Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 2018 (In press)

7.       Bhargava M, Bhargava A. Development of simplified body mass index–based field charts to assess nutritional status and weight gain in adult patients with tuberculosis. J Family Med Prim Care 2018 (In press).

8.       Fathima KA, Bhargava M. Salt reduction and low?sodium salt substitutes: Awareness among health?care providers in Mangalore, Karnataka. Indian J Community Med 2018 (In press).

 

 

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