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Nutrients 2014, 6(7), 2602-2618; doi:10.3390/nu6072602

Determinants of Early Introduction of Solid, Semi-Solid or Soft Foods among Infants Aged 3–5 Months in Four Anglophone West African Countries

1
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia
2
School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia
3
Sydney School of Public Health, Edward Ford Building (A27), University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 27 June 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [213 KB, uploaded 14 July 2014]

Abstract

This study was conducted to explore and identify factors associated with the practice of early introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods among infants aged 3–5 months in four Anglophone West African countries. Data sources for the analyses were the latest Demographic and Health Survey datasets of the 4 countries, namely Ghana (GDHS, 2008), Liberia (LDHS, 2007), Nigeria (NDHS, 2013) and Sierra Leone (SLDHS, 2008). Multiple logistic regression methods were used to analyze the factors associated with early introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods among infants aged 3–5 months, using individual-, household- and community-level determinants. The sample consisted of 2447 infants aged 3–5 months from four Anglophone West African countries: 166 in Ghana, 263 in Liberia, 1658 in Nigeria and 360 in Sierra Leone. Multivariable analyses revealed the individual factors associated with early introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods in these countries. These included increased infant’s age, diarrhea, acute respiratory infection and newborns perceived to be small by their mothers. Other predictors of early introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods were: mothers with no schooling, young mothers and fathers who worked in an agricultural industry. Public health interventions to improve exclusive breastfeeding practices by discouraging early introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods are needed in all 4 countries, targeting especially mothers at risk of introducing solid foods to their infants early. View Full-Text
Keywords: semi-solid foods; malnutrition; breastfeeding; Anglophone; West Africa semi-solid foods; malnutrition; breastfeeding; Anglophone; West Africa
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Issaka, A.I.; Agho, K.E.; Page, A.N.; Burns, P.; Stevens, G.J.; Dibley, M.J. Determinants of Early Introduction of Solid, Semi-Solid or Soft Foods among Infants Aged 3–5 Months in Four Anglophone West African Countries. Nutrients 2014, 6, 2602-2618.

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