Objectives: To study the nutritional status of under-five children and to assess whether infant feeding practices are associated with the undernutrition in anganwari (AW) areas of urban Allahabad.
Methods: Under-five-years children and their mothers in selected four anganwari areas of urban Allahbad (UP) participated in the study. Nutritional assessment by WHO criterion (SD- classification) using summary indices of nutritional status: weight-for-age, height-for-age and weight-for-height was done. Normal test of proportions, Chi-square test for testing association of nutritional status with different characteristics and risk analysis using odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals was also done.
Results: Among all under five children surveyed, 36.4% underweight (< 2SD weight- for -age), 51.6% stunted (< 2SD height- for- age) and 10.6% wasted (< 2SD weight- for- height). Proportions of underweight (45.5%) and stunting (81.8%) were found maximum among children aged 13-24 months. Wasting was most prevalent (18.2%) among children aged 37-48 months. Initiation of breast-feeding after six hours of birth, deprivation from colostrum and improper complementary feeding were found significant (P< 0.05) risk factors for underweight. Wasting was not significantly associated (P>0.10) with any infant feeding practice studied. ICDS benefits received by children failed to improve the nutritional status of children.
Conclusion: Delayed initiation of breast-feeding, deprivation from colostrum and improper weaning are significant risk factors for undernutrition among under-fives. There is need for promotion and protection of optimal infant feeding practices for improving nutritional status of children.