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Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry

Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry

Vol. 7, Issue 5 (2018)

Assessment of prevailing supplementary and weaning practices in the selected area of Allahabad


Aisha Idris Ali, Anisha Verma and Viginia Paul

Introduction: An appropriate diet is critical in the growth and development of children especially in the first two years of life. Malnutrition during the first two years of life results in an irreversible impairment in attaining full potential of physical growth, brain development, and health status of children. The rate of malnutrition is very high in infants and young children from six months of age onwards, when breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet a child's nutritional needs, foods other than breast milk are introduced gradually into the baby's diet, first to complement breast feeding and progressively to replace it and get the child used to adult diet. This study aimed to find out the different supplementary weaning practices adopted and find out the nutritional status of the infants aged (6 months – 2 years) in selected areas of Allahabad Uttar Pradesh, India.
Methods: It was a cross-sectional study. Using a purposive random sampling technique, 60 children of 6-24 months were recruited. Data was collected using a pretested structured questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS statistical software package. Anthropometric measurements were performed by standard methods (NCHS and Gomez classification).
Results: Timely introduction of complementary feeds was commenced in 30% of the children. More than half (65%) of the children were weaned abruptly and 76.7% of the children were bottle fed. The distribution of children by different ranges of MUAC showed that 10 children were found to be normal (14.5 cm) and 18 (13.5-14.5cm), 20 (12.5-13.5cm), and 12 (12.5cm) children were found to be in mild, moderate and severe malnutrition, respectively. For 16.11% of children height for age Z-score was between -0.99 and 0.99 SD of the NCHS median indicating that they were normal. The prevalence for severe stunting (<-3 SD) was about 6.39% and for moderate stunting (-2.99 to -2.00 SD) 46.94%. The growth performance (underweight) of the children measured by using the indicator weight for age (W/A Z score) showed that 9.58% of the children were severely underweight (-3 SD), 33.75% mildly underweight (-1.00 to -1.99 SD of the NCHS median) and 15.14% normal. The distribution of children weight for height (Z-score) according to age group showed that 43.47% (-2.99 to -2.00 SD) were moderately malnourished, and 28.61% (-1.99 to -1.00 SD) were mildly malnourished. The prevalence of malnutrition (growth retardation) by using different anthropometric indicators showed that more than half of the proportion of children (51.39%) were found to malnourished (underweight) using W/A as indicator. Amongst all the subjects, prevalence of wasting and stunting was 35.56% and 13.06% respectively.
Conclusion: The aim of our study was to assess the prevailing supplementary and weaning practices in the Selected Area of Allahabad. Adequate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices are essential to ensure optimal survival, health, growth, development and overall nutritional status of children. The respect of WHO recommendations on complementary and weaning practices was less than optimal. It is important to develop interventions aimed at bridging the gap between these practices and WHO recommendations. In the present study, initiation of complementary feeding at the recommended time of six months was not appropriate in the majority of children. Also, the quantity of complementary feeding was insufficient. Therefore, the benefits of timely introduction of complementary feeds and proper weaning practices should be continually reiterated for women attending ANC with follow-up in the post-natal period through counseling. There is an urgent need to lay more emphasis on the need for improving the dietary quality of weaning foods and the inclusion of all food groups' namely, dairy products, legumes and nuts, flesh foods, eggs, vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables, cereals and tubers, and other fruits and vegetables. Creating an awareness of the advantages of appropriate time of introduction of complementary foods will further strengthen and support the common practice in communities and avoid an early introduction to complementary foods for socio-cultural reasons. Socio-economic status of the family has a greater impact on the nutritional status of the children. Despite the fact that appropriate intervention and rehabilitation program can eradicate the problem of child malnutrition, nutritional knowledge and proper health measures can play a significant role in the entire scenario of nutrition. It is hoped that the results of this study will help in the proper understanding of complementary and weaning practices in communities of Allahabad district, India and the world at large.

Pages: 180-186  |  1588 Views  338 Downloads

Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
How to cite this article:
Aisha Idris Ali, Anisha Verma and Viginia Paul. Assessment of prevailing supplementary and weaning practices in the selected area of Allahabad. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2018;7(5):180-186.

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