Do child feeding practices change due to diarrhoea in the Central Peruvian Highlands?

S. L. Huffman, G. Lopez de Romana, S. Madrid, K. H. Brown, M. Bentley, R. E. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study assessed feeding practices in relation to diarrhoea among 2,599 children, aged 0-3 years, in the highlands of central Peru. A high prevalence of diarrhoea was observed, with 18% of the children ill with diarrhoea the preceding day. With few exceptions, the presence of diarrhoea did not alter the types of foods actually offered to young children. Caretakers, however, reported that children with diarrhoea should be given different foods. Appetite for breastmilk was reported by mothers to remain normal for children with diarrhoea; however, appetite for nonhuman milk and solid food was reported to decrease substantially. Since data on amounts of food consumed were not collected, whether the total nutrient intake was reduced due to decreases in amounts of food consumed can not be determined from this study. The major findings are that although mothers report reducing the types of foods offered to their sick infants, in actuality the types of foods offered vary little during illness. However, because mothers are quite concerned about the lack of appetite among young children, they may be particularly amenable to changing feeding practices following diarrhoea episodes. The promotion of improved complementary foods and feeding practices during and after diarrhoea may be an ideal method by which to improve weaning practices in Peru.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Diarrhoeal Diseases Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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