Objective: To understand the feeding status and the current situation of complementary food supplement of infants and young children aged 6-23 months in Yongjing County and Yuzhong County, two of poorer counties in Gansu Province.
Methods: A study was conducted by cluster sampling. The status of breastfeeding and complementary food supplement was surveyed by using questionnaires.
Results: A total of 836 infants and young children aged 6-23 months were investigated. The results showed that 18. 2% of infants received breastfeeding in the first hour after birth. The breastfeeding rate reached up to 84.1%, while the percentage of continuous breastfeeding for 12-15 months and 20-23 months was only 29.6% and 8.7%, respectively. The percentage of almost exclusive breastfeeding,mixed feeding and artificial feeding attained 42.7%, 41.4% and 15.9% ,respectively during the first 6 months after birth. Besides, the complementary food not supplemented in time was in 68.7% of infants, among which, 35.2% of infants were supplemented too early and 33.5% not in time. The diversity of complementary foods in 6-11 month-old infants was less than that in 12-17 and 18-23 month-old young children. The situation of complementary food supplement for meeting the minimum acceptable dietary level in breastfeeding infants was lower than that in non-breastfeeding infants.
Conclusion: The exclusive breastfeeding rate was relatively low. The inappropriate addition of complementary foods in time, category and frequency were the main issues to be concerned. It was suggested that publicizing knowledge on infant feeding should be strengthened.