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Public Health Nutrition








Objective: This study aimed to report the WHO infant and young child feeding (IYCF) indicators from Kuwait and to investigate the associations between these indicators and anthropometric measurements.

Design: The Kuwait Nutritional Surveillance System uses observational cross-sectional approach to collects data by face-to-face interviews with mothers or child guardians using a structured questionnaire that was developed based on the WHO IYCF indicators. The weight and height of infants and young children were measured using digital scales in a standardised manner.

Setting: Vaccination centres in all governorates (provinces) of Kuwait.

Participants: Infants and young Kuwaiti children aged 0–23 months (N 5839).

Results: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding and age-appropriate breastfeeding were 8·0 and 7·4 %, respectively. The prevalence of stunting and wasting was 7·5 and 2·4 %, respectively, while the prevalence of overweight and obesity was 6·5 and 1·6 %, respectively. In the multivariable analysis, exclusive breastfeeding and age-appropriate breastfeeding were more common in children with stunted growth (AOR 1·71 (95 % CI 1·08, 2·70; P = 0·021) and 1·44 (95 % CI 1·01, 2·06; P = 0·046), respectively). The introduction of solid/semisolid or soft foods was inversely associated with stunting (AOR 0·52; 95 % CI 0·30, 0·90; P = 0·021). Only age-appropriate breastfeeding was inversely associated with overweight (AOR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·39, 0·98; P = 0·043).

Conclusion: Our findings showed that indicators of breastfeeding are low in Kuwait. Our findings suggest that the associations between different WHO IYCF indicators and stunting as well as overweight is complex, which highlights the need for a better understanding of WHO IYCF indicators in both low- and high-income countries.


This article has been published in Public Health Nutrition http://10.1017/S1368980019004634. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © The Authors.

Original Publication Citation

Al-Taiar, A., Alqaoud, N., Hammoud, M. S., Alanezi, F., Aldalmani, N., & Subhakaran, M. (2020). WHO infant and young child feeding indicators in relation to anthropometric measurements. Public Health Nutrition, 23(10), 1665-1676. doi:10.1017/S1368980019004634


0000-0001-7421-3381 (Al-Taiar)