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The association between complementary feeding practice and linear growth faltering among Cambodian children: an analysis of the 2014 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Asuka Miyazaki, Kerry Wong, Rattana Kim & Mitsuaki Matsui
Source: Journal of Global Health Reports, 7
Topic(s): Child feeding
Child health
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2023
Abstract: Background: Inappropriate complementary feeding is a factor contributing to linear growth faltering in early childhood. We aimed to assess complementary feeding practice and investigate its association with linear growth faltering among children aged 6 to 23 months among children aged 6-23 months in Cambodia. Methods: This study is a secondary data analysis of the 2014 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS). Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to investigate associations between complementary feeding practice and linear growth faltering as length-for-age z-scores (LAZ), adjusted for all covariates. Results: This study included 1381 children aged 6 to 23 months. The prevalence of age-appropriate complementary feeding practice was low in Cambodia. Only 23% of the children met all three criteria of minimum dietary diversity, minimum meal frequency, and age-appropriate breastfeeding. Approximately 30% of children aged 6 to 11 months met the minimum dietary diversity requirements and less than 40% of children aged 18 to 23 months were provided breastfeeding after the introduction of complementary food. This study found that there is no relationship between food diversity and feeding frequency and child linear growth. However, the provision of both complementary food and breast milk was independently and negatively associated with linear growth (ß-Coefficient=-0.38, 95% confidence interval, CI=-0.60, -0.16). Positive effects on child linear growth, after controlling for all covariates, included the richer (ß-Coefficient=0.36, 95% CI=0.07, 0.66) and richest (ß-Coefficient=0.50, 95% CI=0.20, 0.79) quintiles of households, as well as appropriate water treatment before drinking (ß-Coefficient=0.22, 95% CI=0.05, 0.40). Conclusions: Most Cambodian young children aged 6 to 23 months received inappropriate complementary feeding. This study suggests that from the time of conception there is a necessity to improve maternal and child nutrition educational intervention for mothers, including feeding and hygiene practices.