Differences in Infant Feeding Practices in Relationship to Ethnicity and Income Level
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Honors Theses; 2013
Breastfeeding is linked to numerous health benefits, for both infants and mothers, and is the ideal nutrition for infants until 6 months of age. Failing to follow specific guidelines, such as exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months or waiting until 4-6 months to introduce solids foods, maybe linked to poor health outcomes and higher infant mortality rates. The CDC reports 14.1% of mothers exclusively breastfed their children for six months and 43.5% breastfeed until six months of age. The Non-Hispanic black and lower income populations have the lowest breastfeeding rates and experience higher infant mortality rates. The objective of this study was to gain insight into the common feeding practices of different populations to support targeted interventions to promote adherence to infant feeding guidelines. Data from the 1999-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was analyzed using a sample population of 9807 children ages 0 – 6 years. Breast and formula feeding practices were coded into age category (never breastfed, <1 month, 1-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12months, >1 year). Age introduced to solids as well as age given cow’s milk was also coded into appropriate age categories. Non-Hispanic Blacks and the lowest income group (<100% of the poverty rate) had the lowest adherence to infant feeding recommendations. Hispanics were among the leading groups to meet recommendations, along with the higher income and Non-Hispanic white populations. There were unremarkable differences found when looking at age when solids were introduced and the age cow’s milk was introduced. This study focused on specific areas of infant feeding practices, and may help target which populations are struggling most to meet infant feeding recommendations. It is useful to provide the foundation on which to create unique interventions that can increase compliance with feeding practice guidelines to ultimately decrease infant mortality rate.
Related Item:Academic Major: Medical Dietetics