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The Role of Maternal Diet and Iron-folic Acid Supplements in Influencing Birth Weight: Evidence from India’s National Family Health Survey
Authors: Malhotra N, Upadhyay RP, Bhilwar M, Choy N, and Green T
Source: Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, 60(6):454-60. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmu051.
Topic(s): Birth weight
Iron supplements
Maternal health
Nutrition
Country: Asia
  India
Published: DEC 2014
Abstract: Aim: To examine the role of maternal diet in determining low birth weight (LBW) in Indian infants. Methods: Data from the National Family Health Survey (2005–06) were used. Multivariate regression analysis was used to analyse the effect of maternal diet on infant birth weight. Results: Infants whose mothers consumed milk and curd daily [odds ratio (OR), 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06–1.29]; fruits daily (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.07–1.36) or weekly (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.02–1.24) had higher odds of not having a low birth weight baby. The daily consumption of pulses and beans (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.02–1.36) increased the odds while weekly consumption of fish (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.70–0.89) decreased the odds of not having a LBW infant. Intake of iron–folic acid supplements during pregnancy increased birth weight by 6.46 g per month. Conclusion: Improved intake of micronutrient-rich foods can increase birth weight. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]