Poster Topical Area: Global Nutrition

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 589

P12-096 - Complementary Feeding Practices and their Maternal Determinants in Malawi: A Secondary Analysis of the Demographic and Health Survey

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: Inadequate complementary feeding practices are strongly associated with growth failure in infants in countries with high burden of undernutrition. The objective of this study was to identify the maternal determinants of appropriate complementary feeding in Malawi.

Method: The most recent nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey was used. All explanatory variables were grouped into five domains including sociodemographic, maternal health status, health behavior, maternal empowerment and media exposure. Variables in the bivariate analyses with p<0.01 were included in the multivariable logistic regression models. 

Results: In 2015, 31.8% (n=1599) of the infants aged 6-23 months ate from four or more food groups and 44.2% (n=1497) had adequate minimum meal frequency. Only 19.8% (n=1497) received minimum acceptable diet and 10.9% (n=2081) were given iron-rich foods. There was no association between the maternal health status domain and any of the complementary feeding indicators. At least one of the variables from the other maternal domains were associated with complementary feeding practices. Mothers who received at least secondary education were more likely to feed their infants at least the minimum dietary diversity (AOR=1.89, pp<0.05) and to give them iron-rich foods (AOR=3.12, p<0.01) compared to mothers with no formal education. Infants whose mothers attended post-natal baby checks were more likely to have adequate dietary diversity (AOR=1.27, p<0.05), to have at least the minimum meal frequency (AOR=1.33, p<0.05), and to have the minimum acceptable diet or better (AOR=1.43, p<0.05). Mothers who listened to the radio at least once a week were also more likely to have better complementary feeding practices: AOR=1.52, p<0.01 for minimum dietary diversity; AOR=1.31, p<0.05 for minimum meal frequency; and AOR=1.46, p<0.05 for minimum acceptable diet compared to mothers who listened to the radio for less than once a week. 

Conclusion: Future complementary feeding interventions in Malawi should consider household demographics, maternal health behaviors, media exposure, and maternal empowerment.    


CoAuthors: Christine Walters, RDN, LD, MS – Oklahoma State University; Joel Komakech, MS – Oklahoma State University; Barbara Stoecker, Ph.D., RD – Oklahoma State University

Hasina Rakotomanana

Graduate Student
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, Oklahoma