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 OALibJ  Vol.2 No.6 , June 2015
Identified Factors Behind Low Consumption of Animal Foods among the Children of 6 - 23 Months Old in Alive and Thrive Intervention Areas in Bangladesh
Abstract: Background: In Bangladesh, more than two-thirds of total food consumption is rice as main staple, especially for the poor, in addition to some vegetables, pulses and small quantities of fish, meat, egg, etc. if and when available. The similar dietary pattern and practices were found for under two years old children in the intervention areas of Alive and Thrive (A & T) project where consumption of animal foods by children was minimal even after being counseled on its rightly mentioned. Premising the facts, BRAC Research and Evaluation Division (RED) intended to investigate the factors that might have led to the consumption of least amount of protein from animal foods by the children in the A & T intervention areas. Objective: To investigate the dietary intake pattern of the children aged 6 - 23 months from beneficiary households and identify the factors that might have led to the lower intake of animal diets by those of the children. Methods: Mixed methods were applied to gather necessary information for the study. Quantitative tools were used to collect information on socioeconomic profile of the beneficiary households, feeding practice or dietary intake pattern of the children whereas qualitative tools were used to recognize the opportunities and barriers of the beneficiaries for feeding lower amount of animal foods to their children. Twelve upazilas were selected purposively from 4 districts (four geological corners of Bangladesh): Barguna, Sylhet, Chittagong and Dinajpur districts (3 from each). One control and two intervention upazilas were selected from each of the districts. The intervention areas were selected where A & T supported health programmes and other BRAC health programmes were operating. The control areas were selected where other BRAC health programmes were operating except A & T programme. The Pusti Kormi (PK), Shasthya Shebika (SS) and mothers/caregivers enrolled in the A & T intervention areas were selected for interview, in addition to those who had involvement in services from the supervisory level. Results: Quantitative findings of the study revealed that food intake from animal sources in intervention areas was 7 - 12 g at the age 1 year and 18 g at 2 years where the recommended dietary average (RDA) was 14 g for less than one year and 16 g for less than 2 years. These were also lower in comparison to those counter parts of control areas. The qualitative findings indicated that the major factors hindered in feeding foods from animal sources were lack of knowledge, lack of awareness on protein deficiency, obstacles from the senior members of the family, myth like fish intake create worm, taboos, etc. Other barriers were found from the quantitative findings, like financial crisis (intervention area 80%; control area 78%), unavailability of the food products in local market (intervention area 5%; control area 3%), etc. Conclusion: Food consumption from animal sources might be increased among the under two years old children by reinforcing efforts in awareness development process addressing those of the challenges that might create demand for appropriate IYCF services at the household level.
Cite this paper: Mukta, U. , Chakraborty, B. , Sayka, U. , Haque, M. and Mia, M. (2015) Identified Factors Behind Low Consumption of Animal Foods among the Children of 6 - 23 Months Old in Alive and Thrive Intervention Areas in Bangladesh. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-15. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101452.
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