A study of correlation of different grades of malnutrition with feeding practices during 1st 6 months of life


  • Diksha Sharma Department of Pediatrics, Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Devendra Sareen Department of Pediatrics, Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Subhash Bamnawat




Breastfeeding, Complementary feeding, Colostrum, Malnutrition, Pre-lacteal feeding


Background: Childhood under nutrition is a critical public health and development challenge in many developing countries including India. Nearly half of all deaths in children under-5 age group are attributable to under-nutrition. One of the key reasons for under-nutrition in early life is the faulty and sub-optimal infant and young child feeding practices.

Methods: 295 children under the age of 5 years residing in rural areas of Udaipur were studied. Feeding pattern and various demographic factors were taken into account, considering age at which breastfeeding was initiated, practice of exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months, colostrum given or not, any pre-lacteal feed given or not. Assessment of anthropometric measurements was done and children were categorized as per classification of malnutrition by the WHO.

Results: Total of 295 children were studied, out of which 59% (174) children were malnourished. 23.2% of SAM children received exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months compared to 52.1% of control group, which was statistically significant. Difference between severely malnourished and control group children who received pre-lacteal feed was also significant. Only 21% of severely malnourished children were started with breastfeeding within 1st hour of birth.

Conclusions: Most of the children who were not given breastfeeding up to 6 months, offered pre-lacteal feed, deprived of colostrum at birth, not started complementary feeding at appropriate time were severely malnourished. 


UNICEF India- The children- Nutrition, 2016. Available at www.unicef.org. Accessed on January 2016.

Shreyaswi Sathyanath M., Rashmi, Udaya NK. Prevalence and risk factors of under nutrition among under five children in a rural community, NUJHS. 2013;3(4).

Guidelines for enhancing optimal infant and child feeding practices, 2016. Available at www.mohfw.nic.in. Accessed on September 2016.

Schroeder DG, Brown KH. Nutritional status as a predictor of child survival: summarizing the association and quantifying its global impact. Bulletin of the WHO. 1994;72(4):569-79.

Swami HM, Thakur JS, Bhatia SP, Bhatia V. Nutritional status of pre-school children in an integrated child development service ICDS block of Chandigarh. J Indian Med Assoc. 2001;99(10):554-6.

Choudhary K, Shekhawat K, Acharya R. A case control study to find out child feeding practices responsible for severe acute malnutrition among under-five children admitted in MTC at a tertiary care centre, Bikaner, Rajasthan. Available at http://www.iapsmupuk.org/ journal/index.php/ IJCH/article/view/915.

Jones G. How many child deaths can we prevent this year? The Lancet. 2003;362(9377):65-71.

Islam MA, Rahman MM, Mahalanabis D. Maternal and socio-economic factors and risk of severe malnutrition in a child: a case control study. Eur J Clin Nutri. 1994;48(6):416-24.

Baranwal K, Gupta VM, Mishra RN, Prakash S, Pandey ON. Factors influencing the nutritional status of under-five (1-5 years) children in urban slum area of Varanasi. Indian J Com Health. 2010;21(2).

Edmond KM. Effect of early infant feeding practices on infection-specific neonatal mortality: an investigation of causal links with observational data from Ghana. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86(4):1126-31.

Klaus M. Mother and infant: early emotional ties. Paediatr. 1998;102:1244-6.

Kumar D, Goel NK, Mittal PC, Misra P. Influence of infant-feeding practices on nutritional status of under-five children. Indian J Pediatr. 2006;73(5):417-21.






Original Research Articles