Prevailing pattern of feeding practices and malnutrition among infant and young children


  • Bharath Kumar Thirunavukkarasu Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India
  • Sujay Kumar Earan Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India



Breast feeding, Complementary feeding, Infant, Malnutrition


Background: Nutritional factors like breast feeding practices, weaning practices and diet during illness influence the growth and development of children. Recurrent   infections are other important factors that lead to malnutrition.

Methods: This was a non-randomized prospective study using pretested, predesigned questionnaires. Study was done in a single centre to determine the pattern of feeding practices and malnutrition among infant and young children. This study was carried out in the Department of Paediatrics at Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and hospital, Puducherry.

Results: Out of the 200 babies studied, 22% of the babies were exclusively breast fed and 5% of the babies were bottle fed. The remaining 73% of the babies were on both breasts feeding and bottle feeding. A 52% of children in the age group 6-12 months, 50% children under12-24 months and 52% of children >24 months were found to be malnourished according to WHO growth standards.

Conclusions: Quantity and quality of complementary feeds given is inadequate due to lake of awareness, fear and food stigmata. Hence feeding practices are far from satisfactory. Complementary feeding and weaning practice guidelines are better practiced as the age advances but their practice at a younger age would lead to a better outcome.


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