Infant feeding practices in a South African birth cohort-A longitudinal study.
Sommaire de l'article
Childhood malnutrition is highly prevalent in low- and middle-income countries. The choices of complementary foods, which are important in infant nutrition, are poorly described in this setting. We investigated infant feeding practices in a South African birth cohort, the Drakenstein Child Health Study. Longitudinal feeding data were collected from March 2012 to March 2015. Feeding practices at birth, 6-10 and 14 weeks and 6, 9, and 12 months, were investigated using food frequency questionnaires. Anthropometry was measured at birth and 12 months. The quality of the diet was analyzed using the World Health Organization infant and young child feeding indicators. Regression models were used to explore associations between feeding and growth outcomes at 1 year. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months was low (13%), and 19% of infants were introduced to solid foods before 4 months. There was high daily consumption of processed meat (56%) and inappropriate foods such as fruit juice (82%), soft drinks (54%), and refined sugary foods (51%) at 1 year. Dietary diversity and consumption of iron rich foods were low at 6 months (5% and 3%, respectively) but higher by 12 months (75% and 78%). Longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding was associated with a lower height-for-age z-score at 1 year. Several dietary deficits and a rising trend in the consumption of inappropriate nutritionally poor foods were identified. These findings raise concern about poor dietary practices and the impact on child and long-term health.