Journal Article

Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Practices Improved in 2 Districts in Nepal during the Scale-Up of an Integrated IYCF and Micronutrient Powder Program

Lindsey M Locks, Pradiumna Dahal, Rajkumar Pokharel, Nira Joshi, Naveen Paudyal, Ralph D Whitehead, Stanley Chitekwe, Zuguo Mei, Bikash Lamichhane, Aashima Garg and Maria Elena Jefferds

in Current Developments in Nutrition

Published on behalf of American Society for Nutrition

Volume 2, issue 6 Published in print June 2018 |
Published online April 2018 | e-ISSN: 2475-2991 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzy019

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  • Medicine and Health
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Biochemistry
  • Food Microbiology
  • Gut Microbiology

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Abstract

Background

Three-quarters of the ≥50 programs that use micronutrient powders (MNPs) integrate MNPs into infant and young child feeding (IYCF) programs, with limited research on impacts on IYCF practices.

Objective

This study assessed changes in IYCF practices in 2 districts in Nepal that were part of a post-pilot scale-up of an integrated IYCF-MNP program.

Methods

This analysis used cross-sectional surveys (n = 2543 and 2578 for baseline and endline) representative of children aged 6–23 mo and their mothers in 2 districts where an IYCF program added MNP distributions through female community health volunteers (FCHVs) and health workers (HWs). Multivariable log-binomial models estimated prevalence ratios comparing reported IYCF at endline with baseline and at endline on the basis of exposure to different sources of IYCF information. Mothers who received FCHV-IYCF counseling with infrequent (≤1 time/mo) and frequent (>1 time/mo) interactions were compared with mothers who never received FCHV-IYCF counseling. The receipt of HW-IYCF counseling and receipt of MNPs from an FCHV (both yes or no) were also compared.

Results

The prevalence of minimum dietary diversity (MDD) and minimum acceptable diet (MAD) was significantly higher at endline than at baseline. In analyses from endline, compared with mothers who never received FCHV counseling, only mothers in the frequent FCHV-IYCF counseling group were more likely to report feeding the minimum meal frequency (MMF) and MAD, with no difference for the infrequent FCHV-IYCF counseling group in these indicators. HW-IYCF counseling was not associated with these indicators. Mothers who received MNPs from their FCHV were more likely to report initiating solid foods at 6 mo and feeding the child the MDD, MMF, and MAD compared with mothers who did not, adjusting for HW- and FCHV-IYCF counseling and demographic covariates.

Conclusions

Incorporating MNPs into the Nepal IYCF program did not harm IYCF and may have contributed to improvements in select practices. Research that uses experimental designs should verify whether integrated IYCF-MNP programs can improve IYCF practices.

Keywords: infant and young child feeding; micronutrient powders; point-of-use fortification; home-based fortification; complementary feeding; dietary diversity

Journal Article.  11851 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medicine and Health ; Dietetics and Nutrition ; Biochemistry ; Food Microbiology ; Gut Microbiology

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