Back to browse results
Birthweight and feeding practices are associated with child growth outcomes in South Asia
Authors: Kassandra L. Harding, Víctor M. Aguayo, and Patrick Webb
Source: Maternal and Child Nutrition, 14(Suppl 4): e12650; DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12650.
Topic(s): Birth weight
Child feeding
Child health
Country: Asia
  Multiple Asian Countries
Published: NOV 2018
Abstract: Although there has been a focus on preventing stunting over the past decade, wasting has received less policy and programmatic attention. Recent national surveys from six South Asian countries were pooled to generate a dataset of 62,509 children aged 0 to 59 months to explore associations between low birthweight (LBW) and suboptimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices with child wasting, severe wasting, and the co-occurrence of wasting and stunting. Logistic regression models accounted for the surveys' clustered designs and adjusted for a potential confounding factors. Children with reported LBW had significantly higher odds of being wasted (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI]: 1.60 [1.45, 1.76]) or severely wasted (1.57 [1.34, 1.83]), compared with non-LBW children. Similarly, children aged 0 to 23 months who were not breastfed within the first hour post-partum, those who were provided prelacteal feeds, and those aged 0 to 5 months who were not exclusively breastfed, were more likely to be wasted (P < 0.05 for all three feeding practices). In India, not achieving minimum diet diversity and minimum adequate diet were significantly associated with the co-occurrence of stunting and wasting. In other words, many key domains of concern to development agents who seek to address stunting are also of direct concern to those focused on wasting. The co-occurrence of wasting and stunting requires more integrated interventions. That is, programmes aimed at preventing LBW and poor IYCF to avert stunting should be linked more effectively with actions aimed at the management of wasting. KEYWORDS: South Asia; breastfeeding; complementary feeding; low birthweight; stunting; wasting