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Studies on the micronutrient adequacy of the diets of breastfeeding women in Ethiopia is limited, despite the public health importance of breastfeeding behavior and the high nutrient requirements during this period. This is concerning because poor micronutrients adequacy during breastfeeding may compromise the health and nutritional outcomes of the nursing dyad.
The study aimed to assess the proportion of breastfeeding women meeting micronutrients adequacy in a resource-poor setting where food and nutrition security is widespread.
Study Design, Settings, Participants
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 166 currently breastfeeding women with infants aged 0-24 in Nekemte, Oromia region of Ethiopia to assess micronutrients adequacy of their diets by using the Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W) scale.
Meeting minimum dietary diversity (MDD) served as a proxy indicator of meeting micronutrients adequacy and was defined as the proportion of women consuming at least 5 out of the 10 food groups on the MDD-W scale the previous day. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the proportion of women meeting micronutrients adequacy.
Majority of the women (81.4%) were breastfeeding infants older than 6 months. 15 out of the 35 women with infants younger than 6 months were breastfeeding exclusively. In this population of breastfeeding women, the majority (82.5%) were meeting the MDD. Comparison on the frequency of consumption of the various food groups between women who met MDD and women who did not was made. Women who met the MDD were more likely to consume pulses, nuts and seeds, dairy, meat, poultry and fish, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, vitamin A-rich fruit, and vegetables.
The study showed that majority of the breastfeeding women in this population are not at risk of micronutrients inadequacy. This is important considering the critical role breastfeeding mothers play in providing nutrition to their infants.
© 2022 Published by Elsevier Inc.