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Stunting and severe stunting among infants in India: the role of delayed introduction of complementary foods and community and household factors
Authors: Mansi Vijaybhai Dhami, Felix Akpojene Ogbo, Uchechukwu L. Osuagwu, Zino Ugboma, and Kingsley E. Agho
Source: Global Health Action, 12(1): 1638020; DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2019.1638020
Topic(s): Child feeding
Child health
Nutrition
Country: Asia
  India
Published: JUL 2019
Abstract: Background: Delayed introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods (complementary feeding) and associated factors are related to stunting and severe stunting among children in many low- and middle-income countries. In India, however, there is limited evidence on the relationship between delayed complementary feeding and associated factors with stunting and severe stunting to advocate for policy interventions. Objectives: The present study investigated the relationship between delayed complementary feeding and associated factors with stunting and severe stunting among infants aged 6-8 months in India. Methods: Survey data on 13,548 infants aged 6-8 months were obtained from the 2015-16 National Family Health Survey in India. Logistic regression (Generalized Linear Latent and Mixed Models [GLLAMM] with a logit link and binomial family) models that adjusted for clustering and sampling weights were used to investigate the relationship between delayed complementary feeding and associated factors (community, household, maternal, child and health service factors) with stunting and severe stunting among infants aged 6-8 months in India. Results: The prevalence of stunting and severe stunting was 22.0% (95% CI: 21.0-23.7%) and 10.0% (95% CI: 9.0-11.0%) among infants aged 6-8 months who received no complementary foods, respectively. Delayed introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods was associated with stunting (adjusted Odd ratios [aOR] = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.09-1.41) and severe stunting (aOR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.01-1.45) among infants aged 6-8 months. High maternal education (secondary or higher education) and household wealth (middle, richer and richest) were protective against stunting and severe stunting. Conclusion: Delayed introduction of complementary foods and associated factors were related to stunting and severe stunting among infants aged 6-8 months in India. Reducing the proportion of infants who are stunted in India would require comprehensive national nutrition policy actions that target the sub-population of mothers with no schooling and limited resources. KEYWORDS: India; Stunting; delayed introduction of complementary feeding; infants; nutrition
Web: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16549716.2019.1638020