Determinants of Complementary Feeding Practices Among Nepalese Children Aged 6-23 Months: Findings From Demographic and Health Survey 2011
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Background: The adoption of inappropriate feeding practices is one of the reasons for under nutrition in Nepal and elsewhere. The objective of this study was to describe the rate of and identify the factors associated with providing the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended infant feeding practices of minimum dietary diversity, minimum meal frequency and minimum acceptable diet in Nepal amongst young children between 6–23 months in 2011. Methods: Data from Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2011 was used. Prevalence of minimum dietary diversity, minimum meal frequency and minimum acceptable diet was obtained by using descriptive statistics. A Chi-square test (χ2) followed by multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine the adjusted effect of potential factors on the outcome variables. Results: Of the 698 children aged 6–23 months; while 535 (76.6%) received the minimum meal frequency, only 212 (30.4%) children received the minimum dietary diversity, and 185 (26.5%) received an acceptable diet. Children of older mothers (>35 years); educated mothers and fathers; and mothers from all the development regions except the Mid-western region were more likely to have been provided with the recommended dietary diversity. Children of mothers who had attended ≥4 antenatal visits and who lived in the Eastern region were more likely to provide their child with the recommended meal frequency. Children of mothers, who attended ≥ 4 antenatal visits, were educated and whose fathers had at least a secondary education were more likely to meet the recommended acceptable diet standards.Conclusion: Young children aged less than two years in Nepal are at risk for not meeting the WHO recommended infant feeding standards given that only about one in three children were provided with the recommended dietary diversity and acceptable diet. This finding suggests that the majority of children are at risk of under nutrition. An appropriate mix of health education and food supplements could be a feasible option for Nepal to improve the number of children who meet the recommended infant feeding guidelines, reduce under nutrition and improve the survival rates of young children.
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