Nutritional status and complementary feeding among Penan infants and young children in rural Sarawak, Malaysia

M. W. Bong, Norimah A. Karim, Ismail Mohd Noor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Penan people are largely settled in rural and remote areas of Sarawak with high rates of undernutrition among the children. The study aimed to determine the nutritional status and infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices of Penan children. Methods: Subjects consisted of 121 children, aged between 0-23 months, from 15 Penan longhouses in Belaga district. Malnutrition was assessed using anthropometric measurements of children and categorised according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Standards (2006). Feeding practices were assessed using questionnaires based on WHO IYCF Indicators (2008). Results: The prevalence of underweight was 29.8%; stunting 43.0% and wasting 5.8%. Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding under 6 months was 44.4%. About 86% of infants aged 6-8 months were already given solid, semi-solid and soft foods. The proportion of children aged 6-23 months achieving minimum dietary diversity (MDD) was 76.6%, while minimum meal frequency (MMF) was 83.0% (breastfed and non-breastfed). Among the children who achieved MDD, 64.9% of their meals were derived from 4-5 food groups. More than half (55.3%) of all subjects (breastfed and non-breastfed) received minimum acceptable diet (MAD). Achievement of iron-rich foods (IRF) indicator was 77.7%. There was no significant association between the IYCF indicators of MDD, MMF and MAD and underweight, stunting and wasting. Conclusion: A high prevalence of poor nutritional status was recorded among the Penan children. While the IYCF indicators apparently showed satisfactory complementary feeding practices, future studies should assess quantitatively the intake of complementary food among Penan infants and young children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-550
Number of pages12
JournalMalaysian Journal of Nutrition
Volume24
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Malaysia
Borneo
Nutritional Status
nutritional status
child nutrition
meals (menu)
underweight
World Health Organization
Growth Disorders
malnutrition
growth retardation
Meals
Thinness
complementary foods
Food
Malnutrition
food groups
breast feeding
anthropometric measurements

Keywords

  • Infant and young child feeding
  • Nutritional status
  • Penan
  • Sarawak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Nutritional status and complementary feeding among Penan infants and young children in rural Sarawak, Malaysia. / Bong, M. W.; A. Karim, Norimah; Noor, Ismail Mohd.

In: Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 24, No. 4, 01.01.2018, p. 539-550.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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