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The objective of this study was to examine the association between dietary diversity and child growth among children 6 to 23 months of age in urban slums of Bangladesh. This prospective cohort study enrolled 192 participants 6 to 23 months of age in Dhaka, Bangladesh. To collect dietary intake information for children 6 to 23 months of age, consumption of five or more of the following eight minimum dietary diversity food groups was recorded using 24-hour dietary recall by the child’s caregiver: 1) breast milk; 2) grains, roots, and tubers; 3) legumes and nuts; 4) dairy products; 5) flesh foods; 6) eggs; 7) vitamin A–rich fruits and vegetables; and 8) other fruits and vegetables. Height and weight were measured at baseline and at a 12-month follow-up. Fifty-five percent of children (106 of 192) consumed five or more of the eight minimum dietary diversity food groups during their first visit to assess dietary intake. Eighty-two percent of children (157 of 192) had a report of consuming an animal source of food (e.g., eggs, dairy, flesh foods) in the past 24 hours, 85% (164 of 192) consumed any source of protein (e.g., eggs, dairy, flesh foods, nuts, and legumes), and 65% of children (125 of 192) were reported to consume any fruits and vegetables. Child consumption of fruits and vegetables was positively associated with change in length-for-age z-scores from baseline to the 12-month follow-up (coefficient, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.03–1.68). Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with linear growth faltering among the young children residing in urban Dhaka, Bangladesh. These findings demonstrate the need for effective interventions to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in this susceptible pediatric population.
Financial support: This research was supported by a USAID grant awarded to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Authors’ addresses: Tahmina Parvin, M. Tasdik Hasan, Ismat Minhaj Uddin, Md Sazzadul Islam Bhuyian, Fatema Zohura, Munirul Alam, and Abu S. G. Faruque, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Kelly Endres, Joel Gittelsohn, Jamie Perin, and Christine Marie George, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, E-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Nicole Coglianese, Food for the Hungry, Washington, DC, E-mail: email@example.com. Shwapon Kumar Biswas, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.