The association between household socioeconomic status, breastfeeding, and infants' anthropometric indices

Marjan Ajami, Morteza Abdollahi, Forouzan Salehi, Wilna Oldewage-Theron, Yasaman Jamshidi-Naeini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The growth, learning, and contribution to active life in the communities are better in well-nourished children, and various factors influence infants' feeding. In this study, we assessed whether household socioeconomic status (SES) affects infants' length-for-age, weight-for-age (indicators of health and nutritional status) and breastfeeding (BF) (a necessity for optimal growth and health) status. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 150 households with infants of 1-1.5 years old were interviewed on these variables: family size, dwelling ownership, duration of BF, exclusive BF (EBF) for 6 months, parents' age, parents' ethnicity, birth order, delivery type, and parents' education. Weight and length at 4 and 12 months were obtained from centers' records. To determine SES, we assessed total years of parents' education and household asset ownership by an index of nine owned assets. Results: The average of 4-month length in the low SES group was significantly lower than the two others (P < 0.05). In middle socioeconomic group, duration of BF was significantly higher (19.5 ± 7.3 months vs. 18.0 ± 8.0 months in low and 17.5 ± 7.9 months in high SES groups) (P < 0.05). Comparing illiterate mothers, university degree holders and university students were 73% less likely to not having EBF. Moreover, those with middle SES showed to be about 40% less likely to not having EBF. Conclusions: Nutritional status, duration of BF, and EBF might be determined by household SES and maternal education. Therefore, these findings can be used to decide how to focus on appropriate target groups in family education planning to improve children's development to its most possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
JournalInternational Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Body weights and measures
  • breastfeeding
  • social class

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