Infancy is a time during which periodic rapid and linear growth occurs. Adequate nutrition during infancy and early childhood is essential to ensure that growth, health and development of children is realized / achieved to their full potential. Any country’s growth and development is reflected by the growth and development of its children. In this paper we are going to understand whether gender, age group and economic status have impact on breastfeeding? What are the mean number of breastfeeding given and how does breastfeeding has impact on nutritional status, body fat of children? Does age influence mothers to stop breastfeeding? The study was a cross-sectional survey conducted on children aged 12-36 months in Mumbai city. The study sample consisted of 1248 children with 628 girls and 623 boys. Nutritional status was assessed using weight for age, height for age and weight for height. Percent body fat was measured by electric bioimpedance and based on skinfold thicknesses measured at four sites. Approximately half of the children had normal weight for height (WHZ), weight for age (WAZ) and BMI-for-age (BAZ). Among the 1248 children, only 2.8 % were wasted, 2.4% were underweight, 2.0 % were stunted and 2.6% had low BMI for age. Our data showed that percent body fat tended to vary with nutritional status. Nutrient intakes were compared between quintiles of body fat, with significant trends being observed for calcium intake, source of protein (animal vs. plant) and vitamin A.
This study will highlight lacunae and need to focus on micronutrients, differentiate between protein sources in Asian children, and give some insights into the thin-fat syndrome that has been reported among Asian Indians. The study will help audience to realize need for study of dietary diversity, micronutrient intakes besides energy and protein particularly in feeding programs for young children. It highlights several areas for research including how body fat is to be assessed for children in LMIC/resource poor settings. It can provide a base for further studies in the field. It covers a large sample in a narrow age range, and provides insights of status of young children in low middle and middle income groups in India. Its findings highlight areas for nutrition education and fine tuning focus of programs for children.