An educational intervention to promote appropriate complementary feeding practices and physical growth in infants and young children in Rural Haryana, India

Nita Bhandari, Sarmila Mazumder, Rajiv Bahl, Jose Martines, Robert E Black, Maharaj K. Bhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Complementary feeding practices are often inadequate in developing countries, resulting in a significant nutritional decline between 6 and 18 mo of age. We assessed the effectiveness of an educational intervention to promote adequate complementary feeding practices that would be feasible to sustain with existing resources. The study was a cluster randomized controlled trial in communities in the state of Haryana in India. We developed the intervention through formative research. Eight communities were pair matched on their baseline characteristics; one of each pair was randomly assigned to receive the intervention and the other to no specific feeding intervention. Health and nutrition workers in the intervention communities were trained to counsel on locally developed feeding recommendations. Newborns were enrolled in all of the communities (552 in the intervention and 473 in the control) and followed up every 3 mo to the age of 18 mo. The main outcome measures were weights and lengths at 6, 9, 12, and 18 mo and complementary feeding practices at 9 and 18 mo. All analyses were by intent to treat. In the overall analyses, there was a small but significant effect on length gain in the intervention group (difference in means 0.32 cm, 95% CI, 0.03, 0.61). The effect was greater in the subgroup of mate infants (difference in mean length gain 0.51 cm, 95% CI 0.03, 0.98). Weight gain was not affected. Energy intakes from complementary foods overall were significantly higher in the intervention group children at 9 mo (mean ± SD: 1556 ± 1109 vs. 1025 ± 866 kJ; P <0.001) and 18 mo (3807 ± 1527 vs. 2577 ± 1058 kJ; P <0.001). Improving complementary feeding practices through existing services is feasible but the effect on physical growth is limited. Factors that limit physical growth in such settings must be better understood to plan more effective nutrition programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2342-2348
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume134
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004

Fingerprint

Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
infant growth
India
Growth
complementary foods
food and nutrition programs
developing countries
energy intake
neonates
Energy Intake
weight gain
nutrition
Developing Countries
Weight Gain
Randomized Controlled Trials
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Newborn Infant
Weights and Measures
Food
Health

Keywords

  • Child growth
  • Cluster randomization
  • Complementary feeding
  • Educational intervention
  • Gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

An educational intervention to promote appropriate complementary feeding practices and physical growth in infants and young children in Rural Haryana, India. / Bhandari, Nita; Mazumder, Sarmila; Bahl, Rajiv; Martines, Jose; Black, Robert E; Bhan, Maharaj K.

In: Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 134, No. 9, 09.2004, p. 2342-2348.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bhandari, Nita ; Mazumder, Sarmila ; Bahl, Rajiv ; Martines, Jose ; Black, Robert E ; Bhan, Maharaj K. / An educational intervention to promote appropriate complementary feeding practices and physical growth in infants and young children in Rural Haryana, India. In: Journal of Nutrition. 2004 ; Vol. 134, No. 9. pp. 2342-2348.
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