The role of complementary feeding in India’s high child malnutrition rates: Findings from a comprehensive analysis of NFHS IV (2015-16) data

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Relative to its economic growth and poverty levels, Indian children suffer from higher levels of malnutrition than children in many other low- and middle-income countries. Research presented in this article examined the links between infant and young child feeding practices among Indian children and their rates of stunting, underweight, wasting, and anaemia, with a particular focus on the types of semisolid complementary food consumed. It did so through a comprehensive analysis of data on more than 57,000 6-to-23-month-old children obtained from the nationally representative National Family Health Survey IV (2015-16). One of the key findings was that especially feeding children animal-sourced and vitamin-A-rich food was associated with lower malnutrition rates. The study further interrogated whether livestock ownership and participation in the Integrated Child Development Services programme could be supportive of better complementary child feeding and concluded that daily food receipts from the programme and poultry ownership were indeed linked with significantly higher rates of children following the recommended feeding practices as well as with somewhat lower children’s malnutrition rates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Security
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2021

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