Background: In food insecure settings, it may be difficult for pregnant women to meet increased nutritional needs through traditional diets. A promising new strategy to fill nutrient gaps in pregnancy involves the provision of lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS). We aimed to assess the acceptability and utilization of a 40 g LNS formulation (Epi-E) with increased micronutrient content relative to the recommended daily allowance among pregnant women in rural Niger. Methods: We conducted a two-part, multi-methods study among pregnant women presenting to antenatal care in Madarounfa, Niger during two periods (Ramadan and non-Ramadan). Part 1 included two LNS test meals provided at the health center, and Part 2 included a 14-day home trial to simulate more realistic conditions outside of the health center. Open- and closed-ended questions were used to assess organoleptic properties of Epi-E using a 5-point hedonic scale after the test meals, as well as utilization and willingness to pay for Epi-E after the 14-day home trial. Results: Participants consumed more than 90% of the test meal in both periods. Epi-E was rated highly in terms of overall liking, color, taste and smell during test meals in both periods (median 5/5 for all); only time, mode and frequency of consumption varied between Ramadan and non-Ramadan periods in observance of daily fasting during the holy month. Conclusion: Epi- E, a 40 g LNS formulation with increased micronutrient content, was highly acceptable among pregnant women in rural Niger, and utilization was guided by household and individual considerations that varied by time period. This formulation can be further tested as a potential strategy to improve the nutritional status of pregnant women in this context. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02145000. Registered 22 May 2014.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism