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The present cross-sectional study aimed to determine population-attributable risk (PAR) estimates for factors associated with inappropriate complementary feeding practices in The Gambia.
The study examined the first and most recent Demographic and Health Survey of The Gambia (GDHS 2013). The four complementary feeding indicators recommended by the WHO were examined against a set of individual-, household- and community-level factors, using multilevel logistic analysis. PAR estimates were obtained for each factor associated with inappropriate complementary feeding practices in the final multivariate logistic regression model.
Last-born children (n 2362) aged 6–23 months.
Inadequate meal frequency was attributed to 20 % (95 % CI 15·5 %, 24·2 %) of children belonging to the youngest age group (6–11 months) and 9 % (95 % CI 3·2 %, 12·5 %) of children whose mothers were aged less than 20 years at the time of their birth. Inadequate dietary diversity was attributed to 26 % (95 % CI 1·9 %, 37·8 %) of children who were born at home and 20 % (95 % CI 8·3, 29·5 %) of children whose mothers had no access to the radio. Inadequate introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods was attributed to 30 % (95 % CI 7·2 %, 38·9 %) of children from poor households.
Findings of the study suggest the need for community-based public health nutrition interventions to improve the nutritional status of Gambian children, which should focus on sociocultural and economic factors that negatively impact on complementary feeding practices early in infancy (6–11 months).
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