The relationship between feeding and nutritional status: a prospective and observational study conducted in northern region of India

Amarpreet Kaur, Karnail Singh, M. S. Pannu, Palwinder Singh, Neeraj Sehgal, Rupinderjeet Kaur


Background: The health of Infants to a great extent depends upon the feeding practices and its awareness among the mothers. This study was conducted in Tertiary care hospital to find the correlation between feeding pattern with nutritional status.

Methods: Infants in the age group of 14 weeks to 1 year formed the sample of the study. The nutritional status was assessed in relation to breast feeding practice among infants ≤6 months. Among infants >6 months of age, the nutritional status was assessed in relation to adequacy and timely start of weaning. Correlation was observed, and test of significance was applied through chi square test.

Results: Total 591 infants were included in the study out of which 232 infants were ≤6 months of age [120 (51.72%) were exclusively breastfed and 112 (48.28%) were top fed]. Out of these breast feed infants, 86/120 (71.67%) had normal nutrition compared to 54/112 (48.21%) of top-fed babies. Infants >6 months of age were 359 in number [116 (32.31%) were having adequate complementary feed, 111 (30.92%) were having inadequate complementary feed and 132 (36.77%) did not receive any complementary feed]. Out of these infants in the age group of >6 months, 56.90% of adequate complementary feed group, 27.03% of receiving inadequate complementary feed and 27.27% of not received complementary feed were having normal nutritional status. The association between nutritional status and breast feeding in ≤6 months and complementary feed in >6 months has been found to be statistically significant (p value < 0.05, d.f =1).

Conclusions: Breastfeeding as well as adequate complementary feed has positive correlation to nutritional status in infants even when compared with the malnourished infants of grade I, II, III and IV.


Breastfeeding, Complementary feed, Infants, Malnutrition, Nutritional status

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