Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Objectives : To examine the effects of breastfeeding duration and contextual factors at individual- and household-levels on child malnutrition, including overweight and stunting, in Mexican and Mexican-American children aged 3-35 months.
Methods : Secondary data analysis of 2,311 Mexican children from the 2012 Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey and 829 Mexican-American children from the 2007-2014 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, using independent and pooled logistic regression models to examine bivariate and multivariate associations.
Results : The prevalence of breastfeeding initiation and any breastfeeding for ≥3 months was higher in Mexican (94.2% and 83.5%) versus Mexican-American children (76.4% and 43.0%). Among the latter, those with foreign-born household reference person (HRP) were more likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding than US-born counterparts. The prevalence of child overweight did not differ in either population (9.0% in Mexicans versus 8.8% in Mexican-Americans), but among the latter, those with foreign-born HRP had higher prevalence for child overweight than US-born counterparts. The prevalence of child stunting was higher in Mexicans (11.6%) versus Mexican-Americans (2.0%) and no difference was found between children with foreign- or US-born HRP. We found no evidence for an association between any breastfeeding for ≥3 months and either measure of child malnutrition among Mexicans or Mexican-Americans when compared to those who were never breastfed. High- and low-birthweight were risk factors across the 2 populations for child overweight (AOR 2.72, 95% CI 1.81-4.08) and stunting (AOR 4.22, 95% CI 2.79-6.40), accordingly. We also identified additional country-specific risk and protective factors.
Conclusions : Culturally-sensitive interventions should focus on women prenatally using prophylactic strategies to prevent offspring high- and low-birthweight as these were risk factors for child malnutrition. These interventions should also include postnatal strategies to maintain and foster positive maternal health behaviors, including breastfeeding.
Funding Sources : No funding was received for this research.