Determinants of inappropriate complementary feeding practices in young children in India: secondary analysis of National Family Health Survey 2005-2006

Matern Child Nutr. 2012 Jan;8 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):28-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2011.00385.x.


In India, poor feeding practices in early childhood contribute to the burden of malnutrition as well as infant and child mortality. This paper aims to use the newly developed World Health Organization (WHO) infant feeding indicators to determine the prevalence of complementary feeding indicators among children of 6-23 months of age and to identify the determinants of inappropriate complementary feeding practices in India. The study data on 15,028 last-born children aged 6-23 months was obtained from the National Family Health Survey 2005-2006. Inappropriate complementary feeding indicators were examined against a set of child, parental, household, health service and community level characteristics. The prevalence of timely introduction of complementary feeding among infants aged 6-8 months was 55%. Among children aged 6-23 months, minimum dietary diversity rate was 15.2%, minimum meal frequency 41.5% and minimum acceptable diet 9.2%. Children in northern and western geographical regions of India had higher odds for inappropriate complementary feeding indicators than in other geographical regions. Richest households were less likely to delay introduction of complementary foods than other households. Other determinants of not meeting minimum dietary diversity and minimum acceptable diet were: no maternal education, lower maternal Body Mass Index (BMI) (<18.5 kg/m(2)), lower wealth index, less frequent (<7) antenatal clinic visits, lack of post-natal visits and poor exposure to media. A very low proportion of children aged 6-23 months in India received adequate complementary foods as measured by the WHO indicators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bottle Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Educational Status
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infant
  • Infant Care
  • Infant Food / analysis*
  • Infant Food / standards*
  • Infant Food / statistics & numerical data
  • Infant Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Infant Nutrition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Mothers / education
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Weaning*