Poor dietary quality of complementary foods is associated with multiple micronutrient deficiencies during early childhood in mongolia.
Sommaire de l'article
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether persistent micronutrient deficiencies in Mongolian children identified in our earlier biochemical study are associated with inadequacies in quantity and/or quality in their complementary diets.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of breast-fed children aged 6-23 months, randomly selected from four districts in Ulaanbaatar and four provincial capitals.
SUBJECTS: Weight and length were measured, and sociodemographic status, feeding practices and nutrient adequacy of complementary foods for children aged 6-8 months (n 26), 9-11 months (n 29) and 12-23 months (n 73) were assessed via questionnaire and in-home interactive 24 h recalls.
RESULTS: No geographic differences existed so data were combined. Adherence to WHO infant and young child feeding practices was poor: few children were exclusively breast-fed up to 6 months of age or received the recommended number of feedings containing the recommended number of food groups. Nevertheless, energy intakes from complementary diets, primarily from cereals and non-nutritious snacks, were above WHO-estimated needs; vitamin C > vitamin A > Zn > Ca.
CONCLUSIONS: Complementary feeding in Mongolia is compromised by deficits in several micronutrients but not energy, in part because of frequent consumption of non-nutritious snacks. The latter may interfere with breast-feeding and should be avoided. Instead, wheat-based complementary foods should be enriched with affordable cellular animal foods and fruits rich in vitamin C to combat existing micronutrient deficits.