Compliance with WHO IYCF Indicators and Dietary Intake Adequacy in a Sample of Malaysian Infants Aged 6-23 Months

Nutrients. 2016 Dec 1;8(12):778. doi: 10.3390/nu8120778.


Background: The 2010 World Health Organisation (WHO) Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) indicators are useful for monitoring feeding practices.

Methods: A total sample of 300 subjects aged 6 to 23 months was recruited from urban suburbs of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Compliance with each IYCF indicator was computed according to WHO recommendations. Dietary intake based on two-day weighed food records was obtained from a sub-group (N = 119) of the total sample. The mean adequacy ratio (MAR) value was computed as an overall measure of dietary intake adequacy. Contributions of core IYCF indicators to MAR were determined by multinomial logistic regression.

Results: Generally, the subjects showed high compliance for (i) timely introduction of complementary foods at 6 to 8 months (97.9%); (ii) minimum meal frequency among non-breastfed children aged 6 to 23 months (95.2%); (iii) consumption of iron-rich foods at 6 to 23 months (92.3%); and minimum dietary diversity (78.0%). While relatively high proportions achieved the recommended intake levels for protein (87.4%) and iron (71.4%), lower proportions attained the recommendations for calcium (56.3%) and energy (56.3%). The intake of micronutrients was generally poor. The minimum dietary diversity had the greatest contribution to MAR (95% CI: 3.09, 39.87) (p = 0.000) among the core IYCF indicators.

Conclusion: Malaysian urban infants and toddlers showed moderate to high compliance with WHO IYCF indicators. The robustness of the analytical approach in this study in quantifying contributions of IYCF indicators to MAR should be further investigated.

Keywords: core complementary feeding indicators; dietary adequacy; dietary diversity; infant and young child feeding; micronutrients.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding / ethnology
  • Caregivers
  • Child Day Care Centers
  • Child Development
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet / ethnology
  • Diet Records
  • Diet, Healthy* / ethnology
  • Feeding Methods / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena* / ethnology
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Parents
  • Patient Compliance* / ethnology
  • Suburban Health* / ethnology
  • World Health Organization