Infant and child feeding index and nutritional status of 0-24 month old children in southwestern Nigeria
Objective: To examine the infant and young child feeding practices and nutritional status of children in Osun State, Southwestern Nigeria.
Method: A cross sectional study was carried out to assess infant feeding practices of mothers and its effect on child nutritional status. A multistage random sampling procedure was used to select 450 mothers of children between the ages of 0-24 months. Breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices were examined using the 24hour dietary recall and food frequency questionnaire. An adapted version of the Infant and Child Feeding Index (ICFI) was used and was made age specific for ages 0-6, 7- 12, 13-18 and 13-24 months , with scores further categorized into low, medium and high. Data was analysed using frequency counts, percentages, and regression analysis.
Result: Mean age of mothers and children was 30.4±6.1 years and 11.3±7.3 months respectively. Only 23.9% and 26.3% of children were exclusively breastfed and bottled fed respectively. The mean for the number of complementary food consumed per day were 2.81, 3.65, 3.83 and 4.13 respectively for ages 0-6, 7-12, 13-18 and 13-24 months. The mean ICFI were 1.91(0-6 months), 2.43 (7-12 months), 2.55(13-18 months) and 2.51 (13-24 months). Association between WHZ, WAZ, HAZ and ICFIs showed that children between the ages 0-6 and 7-12 months of age were stunted and had low ICFI scores.
Conclusion: The adoption of correct infant and child feeding practices can reduce the prevalence of protein energy malnutrition in children. Therefore ICFI can be a good tool for nutrition education.
Keywords: Infant and Child Feeding Index, Nutritional Status, Malnutrition