A new study, undertaken by University of East Anglia researchers, called 'Impact of home food production on nutritional blindness, stunting, wasting, underweight and mortality in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials', is published today in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
The research looked at households in low- and middle-income countries. It showed growing their own food helped mothers to prevent stunting, wasting and underweight in their children. Their children's food was more varied, meaning they had access to different classes of food nutrients.
The team from the Norwich Medical School and the School of International Development at UEA analysed studies that introduced women to home farming in African and Asian countries including Nigeria, Ghana, India, Cambodia, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya and Burkina Faso.
The health of these women's children was assessed over the next year or more. The children of the women who were introduced to home farming did better than children of other women, in that they were less likely to suffer from wasting, stunting and underweight.
Mrs Chizoba Bassey, a postgraduate researcher in UEA's Norwich Medical School, led the team conducting the systematic review.