Nutrition

Data sources and inclusion criteria

Data sources

Survey reports and publications reporting on infant and young child feeding are collected/requested from:

  • Ministries of Health through WHO regional and country offices.
  • National research and academic institutions.
  • Nongovernmental organizations.
  • Organizations of the United Nations system.
  • Regular searches of online databases, such as PubMed, Medline, Embase, and WHO regional databases (African Index Medicus, Index Medicus for the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information, Pan American Health Organization Library Institutional Memory Database, Index Medicus for South-East Asia Region).

Data inclusion criteria

Survey data are extracted and included in the database only from complete original survey reports and publications that provide details of the sampling methods. Data from all administrative levels and all population groups cited are included. Studies must have a population-based sample frame and must use standard infant and young child feeding indicators.

To be included, a survey must report on at least one of the following criteria:

Children ever breastfed (%)

Proportion of children 0-4.9 years (0-2.9 years) of age who were ever breastfed.

Please note: this indicator will be replaced with the indicator "Children ever breastfed: proportion of children born in the last 24 months who were ever breastfed", when more data become available.

Duration of exclusive breastfeeding

Median duration of exclusive breastfeeding among children 0-3.9 months of age.

Duration of any breastfeeding

Median duration of any breastfeeding among children 0-3.9 months of age.

Exclusive breastfeeding under 6 months (%)

Proportion of infants 0-5.9 months of age who are fed exclusively on breast milk.
"Exclusive breastfeeding" is defined as no other food or drink, not even water, except breast milk (including milk expressed or from a wet nurse) for 6 months of life, but allows the infant to receive ORS, drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines).

Exclusive breastfeeding under 4 months (%)

Proportion of infants 0-3.9 months of age who are fed exclusively on breast milk.
"Exclusive breastfeeding" is defined as no other food or drink, not even water, except breast milk (including milk expressed or from a wet nurse) for 4 months of life, but allows the infant to receive ORS, drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines).

Early initiation of breastfeeding (%)

Proportion of children 0-4.9 years (0-2.9 years) of age who were put to the breast within one hour of birth.

Please note: this indicator will be replaced with the indicator "Early initiation of breastfeeding: proportion of children born in the last 24 months who were put to the breast within one hour of birth". when more data become available.

Bottle feeding rate 0-11.9 months (%)

Proportion of children 0-11.9 months of age who are fed with a bottle.
"Bottle feeding": is defined as any liquid (including breast milk) or semi-solid food from a bottle with nipple/teat.

Please note: this indicator will be replaced with the indicator "Bottle feeding: proportion of children 0–23 months of age who are fed with a bottle", when more data become available.

Introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods and breast milk (%)

Proportion of infants 6-9.9 months of age who receive solid, semi-solid or soft foods and breast milk.

Please note: this indicator will be replaced with the indicator "Introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods: proportion of infants 6–8 months of age who receive solid, semi-solid or soft foods", when data become available.

Minimum dietary diversity (%)

Proportion of children 6-23.9 months of age who receive foods from 4 or more food groups.

Dietary diversity refers to the child receiving 4+ of the following food groups:

  • grains, roots and tubers
  • legumes and nuts
  • dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • flesh foods (meat, fish, poultry and liver/organ meats)
  • eggs
  • vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables
  • other fruits and vegetables

Minimum meal frequency (%)

Proportion of breastfed and non-breastfed children 6-23.9 months of age who receive solid, semi-solid, or soft foods or milk feeds the minimum number of times or more.

Minimum meal frequency is defined:

  • 2 times for breastfed infants 6–8 months
  • 3 times for breastfed children 9–23 months
  • 4 times for non-breastfed children 6–23 months

Continued breastfeeding at 1 year (%)

Proportion of children 12-15.9 months of age who are fed breast milk.
This indicator includes breastfeeding by a wet nurse and feeding expressed breast milk.

Continued breastfeeding at 2 years (%)

Proportion of children 20-23.9 months of age who are fed breast milk.
This indicator includes breastfeeding by a wet nurse and feeding expressed breast milk.

Mothers given information on breastfeeding (%)

Percentage of mothers who received information on breastfeeding in connection with antenatal care.

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