Authors: Ecaterina Stativa1, Adrian Vasile Rus2, Silvia Maria Stoicescu1, Austin Lobo2, Wesley Clay Lee2, Cosmin Octavian Popa3, Cristian Gabos Grecu4
1 The “Alessandrescu-Rusescu” National Institute for Mother and Child Health, Bucharest, Romania
2 Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Southwestern Christian University, Bethany, Oklahoma,
3 Department of Ethics and Social-Sciences, “George Emil Palade” University of Medicine, Pharmacy,
Sciences and Technology from Tîrgu-Mureș, Romania
4 Department of Psychiatry, “George Emil Palade” University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and
Technology from Tîrgu-Mureș, Romania
Background. Besides breastfeeding, complementary feeding is necessary to meet the nutritional needs that foster healthy growth in children 6–23 months old. In 2007, WHO, UNICEF, USAID, UCDAVIS, IFPRI experts elaborated a set of indicators to evaluate infants and young feeding practices. These indicators are specific to children under 6 months and respectively 6-23 months. In this study three key indicators were used to measure complementary feeding practices: minimum acceptable diet (MAD), minimum meal frequency (MMF), and minimum dietary diversity (MDD).
Aims. The aims of the present study were to determine the prevalence of adequate and inadequate minimum acceptable diet (MAD), minimum meal frequency (MMF), and minimum dietary diversity (MDD) among children 6-23 months of age, in relation to infant or mother’s risk of demographic factors.
Methods. A nationally representative sample with 1,532 children (713 girls and 819 boys) 6 to 23 months of age (M = 14.26; SD = 5.15) was included in our analyses. All eight macro-development regions within Romania were represented and participants were randomly recruited from at least two counties in each of these regions.
Results. It was found that the rates of achieved minimum acceptable diet were relatively high (72.3%), as well as the minimum acceptable dietary diversity (76.1%), and minimum meal frequency (96.1%).
Conclusions. The results of the study showed that the prevalence of children 6-23 months who have an adequate complementary diet in terms of the three indicators exceeds 72%. But there are also population groups that do not reach this prevalence.
Adequate complementary nutrition is generally achieved around the age of 1 year and less than 6-9 months, when the development needs of children already require animal foods rich in micronutrients.
Key words: Romania, minimum acceptable diet, minimum meal frequency, minimum dietary diversity.02-stativa75-81