Intervention Innovation in Indonesia

Traditionally, interventions surrounding malnutrition have implemented an educational program and given participants a grocery stipend. This appears to be a good approach until you really look into the portion of the population most affected by the double burden of malnutrition in Indonesia.

Can you guess which socioeconomic group is most at risk?

  1. lowest
  2. middle
  3. highest


Did you make your guess?

If you guessed b.middle, you are correct!

This seems counter-intuitive, wouldn’t those who earned the least be most likely to suffer from malnutrition?

This answer lies in how the double burden of disease is defined. In this case, the double burden of malnutrition is defined as the association between the continued issues of malnutrition and simultaneous increase in obesity rates due to high availability of foods high in Calories and low in micronutrients. While those with moderate income have better food security than low-income groups, they may not have a good nutritional education. Those with moderate income can afford food but may not have the knowledge to make an educated nutritional choice for themselves and their children.

In order to increase efficacy of intervention programs, researchers wanted to implement social cognitive therapy (SCT) in Surabaya City, Indonesia. Essentially, they sought to use the reciprocal determinism along with the interaction between person, environment and behavior in order to help heighten self-efficacy in the mothers.

The new intervention strategy, NEO-MOM added motivational interviews from home visitors as well as hands on nutritional education sessions and role-play experiences from nutrition experts. The comparison group did not receive the interviews or nutrition education. The target behavior was to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as animal protein (to a lesser degree). Researchers primarily wanted to observe an increase in height of the children but also aimed to achieve a decrease in stunting for children and a decrease in obesity in the mothers.The research suggests that increasing self-efficacy via verbal motivation and bi-weekly goal setting is an effective addition to traditional intervention methods. Success (:!

Due to their high population density and particularly high prevalence of the double burden of malnutrition, urban areas like Surabaya City are ideal location for implementing a more costly program like NEO-MOM.

This motivational, educational method is more than just an intervention, it’s an innovation. They’re doing more than just providing information on how to eat right, they’re performing a service which is needed desperately around the globe… Empowering women to make the right choices for themselves and their children.


Written by: Devon Boullion


Mahmudiono, T., Nindya, T. S., Andrias, D. R., Megatsari, H., & Rosenkranz, R. R. (2016). The effectiveness of nutrition education for overweight/obese mothers with stunted children (NEO-MOM) in reducing the double burden of malnutrition in Indonesia: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 16486. doi:10.1186/s12889-016-3155-1


2 thoughts on “Intervention Innovation in Indonesia

  1. Did the researchers evaluate what happened in the area after the programme finished? The ‘success’ of interventions is often short-lasting, and they would require a lot more attention and work to ensure that effects could be seen in the longer term. Behaviour-change interventions are especially hard to make the effects long-lasting!


    1. It’s hard to say because of how recent the study was conducted… There may need to be more research being conducted.. But yes that is definitely true! Interventions need to always be monitored no matter how successful it is. That’s a good point! Thanks for the question


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