Skip to main content

Table 1 Types of research options and operational definitions

From: Stakeholder perceptions of research options to improve nutritional status in Uganda

Type of option Operational definition
1. Ecological research Nutrition research in Africa should include ecological approaches to focus on the environmental threats (climate change, food scarcity) that Africa will face and their impact on nutritional status. This will involve conducting integrated research with nutritionists, climate scientists and agricultural researchers to improve the way land is used and our understanding of how communities respond to various exposures.
2. Community nutrition interventions Nutrition research in Africa should prioritise improving the evidence base for effective interventions to improve the nutritional status of African populations using a participatory approach. This would require the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition interventions.
3. Nutritional epidemiology To investigate diet-disease relationships, studies could include: a) research synthesis such as systematic reviews, b) conducting longitudinal studies, c) using secondary data that are available in a country related to nutrition related deaths, hospital admissions and treatment to guide planned interventions.
4. Behavioural nutrition Nutrition research should give priority to conducting nutrition research that incorporates other disciplines, especially the social, anthropological and behavioural sciences, such as investigating attitudes to address current public health problems.
5. Therapeutic/clinical nutrition Nutrition research in Africa should focus on improving the ways that nutritional problems are managed. This involves treating/managing obesity, under nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, other nutrition-related diseases and HIV. This may include the use of supplements and human feeding trials.
6. Molecular nutrition (laboratory based) Nutrition research in Africa should focus on investing in basic nutrition science using new molecular, genetic and biochemical approaches, such as nutrigenomics so that science in Africa can develop technological approaches to address Africa’s nutritional problems.