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Research Article

Dietary Pattern and Anthropometric Indices of 6-36 Months Old Children in Anambra State, Nigeria

V. Ibeanu, U. Onyechi, N. Onuoha and I. Ezeugwa
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Dietary pattern and growth monitoring are major components of child care practices. Anthropometry is a useful tool in assessing the nutritional status and monitoring the growth of children under-five years of age. The objective of this study was to assess the dietary pattern and anthropometric indices of children (6-36 months) in Anambra state, Nigeria. Four hundred (400) children were selected by systematic random sampling from three urban and six rural areas of two out of three senatorial districts in the state. Interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from mothers/care givers of the selected children and the data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The anthropometric measurements were obtained using standard methods and the data were analyzed using WHO Anthro software version 3.2.2. Among others, the result showed that about 81% of the mothers/care givers defined complementary feeding correctly but 44.2% commenced complementary feeding before the right time (6 months). The children were fed complementary foods based mainly on starchy roots/tubers (91.5%) and cereals (92.8%) more than 3 times daily. More (72.5%) rural mothers included foods of animal origin in complementary foods than their urban counterparts (43.8%). About 30% of the mothers continued to breast-feed their children 3-6 times per day after the introduction of complementary food while 22% stopped breast-feeding before the child was 6 months of age. Scaling up nutrition intervention programmes through nutrition education using local resources and targeting mothers and women of childbearing age would improve mothers’ child care practices and thus the dietary pattern of the children.

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  How to cite this article:

V. Ibeanu, U. Onyechi, N. Onuoha and I. Ezeugwa, 2014. Dietary Pattern and Anthropometric Indices of 6-36 Months Old Children in Anambra State, Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 13: 514-520.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2014.514.520


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