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Using scores in interpreting growth status effectively improved infant feeding practices and calorie intake of child aged 0–12 months

Haripin Togap Sinaga, Bernike Doloksaribu, Hertha Masthalina Tobing, Ida Nurhayati.


Background: Inappropriate feeding practices including breast-feeding practice during the first year of life identified to be associated with 60% of child malnutrition and mortality. Lack of feeding skills is the major cause. World Health Organization (WHO) mentions that growth chart is a good educational tool for parents. It needs an innovation to introduce growth chart.

Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the effect of scores in measuring child growth status on feeding practices and calorie intake. The hypothesis of this study is that after intervention there would be a significant improvement of feeding practices which in turn will affect the calorie intake of children in the intervention group.

Materials and Methods: This study is to measure the impact of using score bubble growth chart on infant feeding practices and calorie intake. A total of 107 caregivers selected purposively from two different locations. Mothers in intervention group were trained to use score bubble growth chart while mothers in control group used the normal growth chart. Sixteen written questions were designed and tested to measure mothers’ behavior in feeding their babies. Data were analyzed using independent t-test and chi-square test.

Result: Before intervention, there was no significant difference of infant feeding practices and types of food given (p > 0.05) and child calorie intake (p > 0.05) between intervention and control groups. However, after intervention, there was significant difference in exclusive breast-feeding proportion (58% vs 36%; p < 0.01), breastfed more than eight times/day (58% vs 32%; p < 0.01), breastfed more than 15 min/session (45% vs 29%; p < 0.01) and calorie intake (91.6% recommended dietary allowance [RDA] vs 76.5% RDA; p < 0.00 ) in intervention and control groups, respectively.

Conclusion: Using scores in growth monitoring program improved infant feeding practices and calorie intake.

Key words: Scores, growth status, infant feeding practices, calorie intake

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