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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-48

Age-appropriate feeding practices and nutritional status of slum-dwelling young children in Kolkata during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 State Resource Centre on Nutrition, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Soumalya Ray
Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kamarhati, Kolkata - 700 058, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amit.amit_21_22

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Introduction: COVID-19 pandemic was postulated to affect the infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices and their nutritional status. This study was planned to assess IYCF practices and nutritional status of infant and young children residing in slum areas and their association with selected background characteristics. Materials and Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in slums of Kolkata Municipal Corporation among 161 mother–child dyads from October to December 2020. After obtaining informed consent, mothers were interviewed to collect information about their socioeconomic status, hardship faced during pandemic, and IYCF practices of their children using indicators proposed by the World Health Organization and Government of India. Weight and height were measured using the standard operating protocol. The proportion was used to express descriptive statistics. Binary logistic regression models were used for calculating the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) using PSPP (v 1.20). Results: Only 64 (39.8%) children received age-appropriate feeding; 73 (45.3%) had single/multiple anthropometric failure(s). Reduction of family income was reported by 142 (88.2%) respondents. Children aged 6–8 months (AOR = 17.08, 6.43–45.42) were more likely to not have appropriate feeding. Association of female gender (AOR = 2.00, 1.01–4.00), maternal education less than middle class (AOR = 2.58, 1.22–5.46), and lack of appropriate feeding (AOR = 2.57, 1.08–6.12) were statistically significant with the presence of anthropometric failure. Conclusions: The study revealed a dismal scenario of child feeding and nutritional status of young children in the urban slums of Kolkata. Pandemic and imposed restrictions hit the families hard by reducing income and increasing food-related costs.

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