Sokvy Ma1*, Heng Sopheab1, Chhorvann Chhea1
1. School of Public Health at the National Institute of Public Health, Phom Penh
Minimum meal frequency (MMF), a proxy indicator to examine child’s energy requirements, focuses on the number of times children receive foods apart from breast milk and breastfeeding by child’s age. This study describes the MMF among children aged 6-23 months and its distribution across additional key characteristics of the children and their mothers.
A secondary data analysis of Cambodia Demographic Health Survey (CDHS) 2014 among 2,201 children aged 6- 23 months was performed. Descriptive analysis and MMF distribution across child and mother’s characteristics were conducted using STATA V 14.
Overall, higher proportion of boys (71.4%) than girls (68.0%) met required MMF. Children who met required MMF were living in urban rather than rural areas (82.6% vs. 69.0%). Higher proportion of children (76.0%) whose mothers working in non-agriculture met required MMF than children (70.1%) with mothers working in agricultural sector. Finally, the higher the number of children the HH had (≥ 4 children), the lower the children met the MMF requirement.
Meeting recommended MMF for children aged 6-23 months remains a concern in Cambodia though found better than many other countries. Therefore, this requires further actions including nutrition specific interventions particularly focused on rural areas and families with more children.