Maternal participation in a nutrition education program in Uganda is associated with improved infant and young child feeding practices and feeding knowledge: a post-program comparison study Public Deposited

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  • Brahe, C. A
    • Other Affiliation: Georgetown Medical School, Georgetown, University, Washington, DC, USA
  • Ickes, S. B
    • Other Affiliation: The University of Washington Department of Health Service and Nutritional Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health, Raitt Hall, Box 353410, Seattle, WA 98195-3410, USA
  • Baguma, C.
    • Other Affiliation: Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda
  • Adair, Linda
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Nutrition
  • Ammerman, Alice
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Nutrition
  • Bentley, M. E
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Nutrition
  • Myhre, J. A
    • Other Affiliation: Serge and Naivasha Health Center, Naivasha, Kenya
  • Abstract Background Cost-effective approaches to improve feeding practices and to reduce undernutrition are needed in low-income countries. Strategies such as nutritional counseling, food supplements, and cash transfers can substantially reduce undernutrition among food-insecure populations. Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) are an increasingly popular strategy for treating and preventing undernutrition and are often delivered with nutrition education. The post-program effects of participation in a LNS-supported supplemental feeding program on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices and caregiver child feeding knowledge are not well understood. The objective of this study was to understand whether children’s diet quality and caregiver nutrition knowledge was improved after participation in such a program. Methods We conducted a post-program comparison group study to compare feeding practices and caregiver nutrition knowledge among mother-child dyads who completed a nutrition education program and a community comparison group in western Uganda. We administered a feeding practices survey and two 24-h dietary recalls to 61 Post-Program (PP) caregivers and children ages 6 to 59 months (mean age = 25.1 months) who participated in a supplemental feeding program (which included growth monitoring, caregiver nutrition education, and LNS) and a Comparison Group (CG) of 61 children and caregivers. PP caregivers were recruited 4 to 8 weeks after program participation ended. We hypothesized that PP caregivers would report better IYCF practices and greater knowledge of key nutrition education messages related to IYCF. Results PP children had higher dietary diversity scores (3.0 vs 2.1, p =0.001) than CG children, and were more fed more frequently (3.0 vs 2.1 times per day, p = 0.001). IYCF indicators were higher in the PP group for minimum meal frequency (44.8% vs. 37.9%), minimum dietary diversity (10.3 vs. 3.4%), iron-rich complementary foods (17.2 vs. 20.7%), and minimally acceptable diet (10.3% vs 3.6%), but differences were non-significant. Caregivers in the PP group demonstrated greater knowledge of healthful IYCF practices. Conclusions Nutrition education can be effective to improve caregiver feeding practices and children’s dietary diversity and the frequency by which they are fed. A 10-week nutrition education and supplemental feeding program appears to provide some benefit to children in terms of dietary diversity and frequency of meals, and caregiver knowledge of feeding 1 to 2 months after program completion. However, children in this rural Ugandan region have diets that are still largely inadequate, highlighting the need for enhanced interventions and policies to promote diverse and appropriate diets for young children in this region. Future follow-up work in LNS-supported programs is recommended to understand how other similar approaches influence children's diet quality after program completion in other contexts.
Date of publication
  • doi:10.1186/s40795-017-0140-8
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
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  • The Author(s).
  • English
Bibliographic citation
  • BMC Nutrition. 2017 Apr 04;3(1):32
  • BioMed Central

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