Feeding during acute diarrhea as a risk factor for persistent diarrhea

CF Lanata, RE Black, H. Creed‐Kanashiro, F. Lazo, ML Gallardo, H. Verastegui, KH Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dietary intake during diarrhea in children less than three years of age was estimated from information recorded on illustrated dietary forms used by children's caretakers during the first week of illness in a prospective community‐based study of diarrheal diseases in Lima, Peru. The frequency of consumption and the amount consumed of food groups and selected commonly consumed foods were analyzed by the final duration of the diarrheal episode. Cereals were less frequently consumed during the acute phase of diarrheal episodes that ultimately became persistent (>14 days’duration), apparently shortening the duration of the episode by one day (median duration of four days in children not consuming vs three days in children consuming cereals during diarrhea, p<0.02 Kaplan‐Meier logrank test). Only roots and tubers (mainly potatoes) were consumed in greater quantity during episodes that became persistent. There was no evidence that consumption of breast milk or non‐maternal milk was associated with an alteration in diarrheal duration. This study provides further evidence of the beneficial effects of continuing feeding during diarrhea using foods available at the home level, especially cereals, which are commonly used in the diet of young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalActa Pædiatrica
StatePublished - Sep 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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