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Stagnating trends in complementary feeding practices in Bangladesh: An analysis of national surveys from 2004-2014
Authors: Muzi Na, Víctor M. Aguayo, Mary Arimond, Anuradha Narayan, and Christine P. Stewart
Source: Maternal and Child Nutrition, 14(Suppl 4): e12517; DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12517
Topic(s): Child feeding
Country: Asia
Published: NOV 2018
Abstract: Bangladesh has experienced steady socio-economic development. However, improvements in child growth have not kept pace. It is important to document complementary feeding (CF) practices—a key determinant of children's growth—and their trends over time. The study aims to examine trends in CF practices in children aged 6–23 months using data from Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2004, 2007, 2011, and 2014. Multilevel logistic regression models were applied to identify independent predictors of four CF practice indicators among children 6–23 months, namely, timely introduction of complementary foods, minimum meal frequency, minimum dietary diversity, and minimum acceptable diet. Introduction of complementary foods was achieved among 64–71% of children between 2004 and 2014. The proportion meeting minimum meal frequency increased from 2004 to 2007 (71–81%) and declined and held steady at 65% from 2011 to 2014. The proportion meeting minimum dietary diversity in 2011 and 2014 was low (25% and 28%), and so was minimum acceptable diet (19% and 20%). From 2007 to 2014, child dietary diversity decreased and the most decline was in the consumption of legumes and nuts (29% to 8%), vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables (54% to 41%), and other fruits and vegetables (47% to 20%). Young child age (6–11 months), poor parental education, household poverty, and residence in the Chittagong and Sylhet independently predicted poorer feeding practices. Dietary diversity and overall diet in Bangladeshi children are strikingly poor. Stagnation or worsening of feeding practices in the past decade are concerning and call for decisive policy and programme action to address inappropriate child feeding practices.