Integration of nutrition support using the FIGO nutrition checklist in the Bukhali trial: a dietitian’s perspective

Lethabo Mogashoa, Shane A. Norris, Khuthala Mabetha, Larske Soepnel, Catherine E. Draper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The burden of malnutrition experienced globally, coupled with the increasing rate of micronutrient deficiencies, compromises the health and well-being of women during their reproductive years. Obesity places young South African women at particular risk during pregnancy, and increases obesity risk for their offspring. To address these risks, the Bukhali trial is being implemented in Soweto, South Africa with 18–28-year-old women, as part of the Healthy Lifestyle Trajectory Initiative. A dietitian is part of the Bukhali intervention team (community health workers) to provide nutritional support for overweight/obese trial participants, making use of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Nutrition Checklist. This paper reflects on the experiences and lessons learned by the Bukhali dietitian, including the use of the FIGO Nutrition Checklist and Healthy Conversation Skills to facilitate conversations about making healthy dietary behaviour changes. Identified challenges that influence nutrition and behaviour are discussed, including lack of food affordability, cultural and social influences on healthy food choices, unsupportive environments and food insecurity. Strategies to optimise this nutritional support are also mentioned. The Bukhali trial is showing that introducing additional nutrition support by a dietitian for at-risk participants has the potential to encourage young women to prioritise nutrition and health, even in the midst of contextual challenges to both nutrition and health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalSouth African Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date19 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • behaviour change
  • FIGO
  • Nutritional support
  • preconception
  • pregnancy
  • women of reproductive age


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