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Open Access Iraqi national survey data on malnutrition and breastfeeding practices among children under five years of age

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In a national nutrition survey conducted in Iraq during 1992 to 1994, anthropometric measurements were obtained from 3,616 children under five years of age. Wasting was found in 10.8% and stunting in 21%. The nutritional status of children was worse in southern Iraq than in Baghdad. Although classical nutritional diseases disappeared from the country many years ago, the survey found signs of marasmus in 17.5% of the children and kwashiorkor in 0.3%. Iodine-deficiency disorders and anemia were also public health problems. Information on infant feeding practices was gained from mothers by direct interview. Wasting was much more frequent among formula-fed children than among breastfed children (49.3% vs 28.9%, p < .01). Less than 60% of the latter were exclusively breastfed during the first four months of life. Iraqi women are in great need of breastfeeding-promotion programs. Well-planned health and nutritional intervention programs for children under five years of age are also essential.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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