India is currently experiencing rapid economic and industrial expansion, yet, is plagued by the poor health and nutrition of its people. Older approaches to addressing nutritional deficiencies are not as effective as “modern malnutrition” because one of the primary causal factors has only recently emerged: As India becomes a more developed country, its citizens have adopted the dietary habits of other developed nations, falling victim to the “nutrition transition”, or switch from traditional food to processed convenience foods. India Smiles is a unique community-based intervention with a focus on prevention of childhood malnutrition through oral hygiene education and childhood cavity prevention. Using low-cost and effective interventions and health education modules that utilize community health workers, the project works with children aged birth through six and their families to improve the oral health and nutrition status of children in the greater Mumbai, India area.
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