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Ana Irache

Research Title:

The coexistence of overweight/obesity and anaemia among adult women, adolescent girls and children living in low- and middle-income countries

About my research:

Forms of undernutrition (e.g. stunting, wasting or micronutrient deficiencies) coexist with overweight/obesity in LMICs at the individual, household and population level. This is referred as the double burden of malnutrition (DBM), and disproportionally affects women and children. To address the gaps in knowledge, my PhD thesis aims to 1) quantify the magnitude of overweight/obesity and anaemia at the three levels among adult women (20-49 years old), adolescent girls (15-19 years old) and children (6-59 months) living in LMICs; 2) explore patterns in the distribution of this form of DBM by different sociodemographic characteristics; and 3) investigate changes in the co-occurrence of overweight/obesity and anaemia over time.

Supervisors: Professor Paramjit Gill, Dr Rishi Caleyachetty

Research interests:

Global health nutrition; maternal and child health; health inequalities; urban health; nutrition transitions in LMICs; food environments in resource-poor settings; determinants of malnutrition and diets

Featured publications:

  • Irache A, Gill P, Caleyachetty R. (2021) The co-occurrence of overweight/obesity and anaemia among adult women, adolescent girls and children living in 52 low-and middle-income countries. Public Health Nutrition (online ahead of print), 1-25. DOI:
  • Pradeilles R, Holdsworth M, Olaitan O, Irache A, Osei-Kwasi H, Ngandu CB, Cohen E. (2021) Body size preferences for women and adolescent girls living in Africa: A mixed-methods systematic review. Public Health Nutrition, 1-22. DOI:
  • Irache A, Murachpersad R, Caleyachetty R (2019) The development and application of a mobile-based data collection system for a growth monitoring programme in selected primary care centres in the Republic of Mauritius. BMJ Global Health 4, e001928. DOI:10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001928

Current/past research projects:

  • MRC-GCRF Foundation Award. TACLED project: Transitions in African Cities Leveraging Evidence for Diet-related non-communicable diseases; 2017-2019. Role: Research Assistant.
  • DFC Competitive Grants Program (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Dietary transitions in Ghanaian cities: mapping the factors in the social and physical food environments that drive consumption of energy dense nutrient-poor foods and beverages, to identify interventions targeting women and adolescent girls throughout the reproductive life course; 2017-2019. Role: Research Assistant.

Previous studies:

  • Master of Public Health (MPH), University of Sheffield, United Kingdom (2017-2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) + International Nursing Programme, University of Navarra, Spain (2013-2017)