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Nutrients 2014, 6(12), 5975-5991; doi:10.3390/nu6125975

Anemia and Feeding Practices among Infants in Rural Shaanxi Province in China

1
Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. Jia 11, Datun Road, Chaoyang, Beijing 100101, China
2
Center for Experimental Economics in Education (CEEE), Shaanxi Normal University, 620 Chang'an Rd West, Xi'an 710119, China
3
West China School of Public Health, Sichuan University, No. 17, Section 3, South Renmin Road, Chengdu 610041, China
4
School of Economics, Renmin University of China, 59 Zhongguancun Avenue, Beijing 100872, China
5
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, 616 Serra Street, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 August 2014 / Revised: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 22 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron Deficiency: Development, Implications and Treatment)
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Abstract

Anemia is one of the most prevalent public health problems among infants and iron deficiency anemia has been related to many adverse consequences. The overall goal of this study is to examine the prevalence of anemia among infants in poor rural China and to identify correlates of anemia. In April 2013, we randomly sampled 948 infants aged 6–11 months living in 351 villages across 174 townships in nationally-designated poverty counties in rural areas of southern Shaanxi Province, China. Infants were administered a finger prick blood test for hemoglobin (Hb). Anthropometric measurement and household survey of demographic characteristics and feeding practices were conducted in the survey. We found that 54.3% of 6–11 month old infants in poor rural China are anemic, and 24.3% of sample infants suffer from moderate or severe anemia. We find that children still breastfed over 6 months of age had lower Hb concentrations and higher anemia prevalence than their non-breastfeeding counterparts (p < 0.01), and that children who had ever been formula-fed had significantly higher Hb concentrations and lower anemia prevalence than their non-formula-fed counterparts (p < 0.01). The results suggest the importance of iron supplementation or home fortification while breastfeeding. View Full-Text
Keywords: anemia; nutrition; feeding practices; infant; rural China anemia; nutrition; feeding practices; infant; rural China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Luo, R.; Shi, Y.; Zhou, H.; Yue, A.; Zhang, L.; Sylvia, S.; Medina, A.; Rozelle, S. Anemia and Feeding Practices among Infants in Rural Shaanxi Province in China. Nutrients 2014, 6, 5975-5991.

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