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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Title Current infant feeding practices and impact on growth in babies during the second half of infancy
Volume 28
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 366-374
URL http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/24976392
Background: Sri Lanka has made remarkable improvements in health, social
and educational indices. However, child malnutrition exists as a significant
health problem. Infant feeding indicators have not reached expected levels
and improvements are partly constrained by a lack of data. The present
study aimed to determine current infant feeding practices and their impact
on growth among 6–12-month-old infants.
Methods: The study comprised a descriptive cross-sectional investigation
conducted in randomly selected (n = 7) Public Health Midwife areas in
Galle, Sri Lanka. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to
obtain data on sociodemographics and infant feeding. Mothers (n = 515)
attending well-baby clinics were recruited on voluntary and consecutive
basis. Infants’ body weights and lengths were measured using standard
Results: Exclusive breastfeeding rate for first 6 months was 49.0%. In total,
42.6% infants (219 out of 515) were given rice as first weaning food,
followed by salt (58.6%) and sugar (42.3%). Oil had been introduced to
84.9% of infants by the end of 12 months. Most infants (over 71%) were
given dairy products, whereas 62.3% were being fed various liquid foods
using bottles. The introduction of commercial infant cereals, chocolates,
plain tea, ice cream and deep fried snacks was noted. Age-specific body
weight and length were not achieved by 30.5% and 29.5% of infants, respectively.
Weight for length was not achieved by 25.5% of the infants. Delayed
achievements of motor milestones were observed. Mothers’ knowledge
scores on basic nutrients were low.
Conclusions: Complementary feeding indices of the study group were not
satisfactory. Maternal and child healthcare personnel need to identify causative
factors for inappropriate feeding with a view to improve the complementary
feeding patterns.

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