Nutritional status and infant and young child feeding practices among children 0-24 months of age in urban and rural areas of east-central Nepal


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OsloMet - storbyuniversitetet. Institutt for sykepleie og helsefremmende arbeid

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Master i samfunnsernæring


Background and aim: Poor feeding practices leads to child malnutrition and consequently impaired physical and cognitive development. The objective of this paper is to describe nutritional status, infant and young child feeding practices, and access to health care in children 0-24 months, in urban and rural areas of Nepal, and to explore predictors for nutritional status. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 111 mother-child pairs, by convenience sampling. Data were collected using the World Health Organizations indicators for infant and young child feeding practices, and the children’s anthropometrics were measured. Correlation tests were used to measure differences between urban and rural areas and predictors for undernourishment were explored in multiple regression models. Results: Underweight, wasting and stunting was found in 12.6%, 9.0% and 20.7% of the children respectively. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding was 80%, early initiation of breastfeeding was reported by 71% of the mothers, and timely introduction to complementary foods was found in 96% of the infants. The minimum dietary diversity was consumed by 47% of the children, and 43% received a minimum acceptable diet. Snack foods such as biscuits, chips, and chocolates, were consumed by 59% of the children in the past 24 hours. No significant differences were found between children in urban and rural areas with respect to access to health care, feeding practices or nutritional status. However, stunting was substantially higher among children in rural areas. Maternal school level; number of children; number of antenatal visits; and number of children were found to be predictor of undernutrition. Conclusions: Findings of this paper indicate that suboptimal feeding practices and undernutrition exist across urban and rural areas. Early childhood nutritional interventions are necessary to prevent child undernutrition




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