What Works? A Review of the Efficacy and Effectiveness of Nutrition Interventions

Publication | December 2001

Improving nutrition in developing countries is both humanitarian and an economic imperative. Yet, the lack of a systematic evaluation of what works and what does not hampers the progress that has been made.

  • US$10.00 (hardcopy)

This review of the nutrition science and program literature will help ADB and other development partners in selecting nutrition interventions either as stand-alone activities or components in integrated social welfare programs. The paper emphasizes what works and why.

This publication covers various issues, including

  • discussion on micronutrient deficiencies - Vitamin A, iodine, and anemia;
  • ways to avert low birth weight;
  • measures to and improve maternal nutrition, child growth, and cognitive development;
  • comprehensive review of the efficacy and effectiveness of supplementation and fortification trials;
  • impact of food-based approaches to improve maternal and child nutrition; and
  • recommendations on a core program of proven efficacy and effectiveness and a level of investment in operations to improve evidence-based nutrition programming.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Preventing Low Birthweight
  • Improving Child Growth
  • Preventing and Treating Anemia
  • Preventing and Treating Iodine Deficiency
  • Preventing and Treating Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD)
  • Effectiveness of Large Scale Interventions
  • Prioritizing Options
  • References
  • Appendixes

Additional Details

  • Health
  • Maternal and child health
  • 070901
  • 971-561-388-8

Subscribe to our monthly digest of latest ADB publications.

Follow ADB Publications on social media.