Mexico faces malnutrition problems in the child population. Analysis of food consumption in small children allows us to identify and propose strategies focused on feeding to improve their nutritional status.
We described the consumption of beverages and food groups in Mexican children <24 mo of age.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 926 children aged <24 mo participating in the 2012 ENSANUT (National Health and Nutrition Study). Dietary information was obtained through 24-h recalls. The foods and beverages consumed were divided into 17 groups. Consumption was estimated in grams or milliliters, kilocalories per day, and percentage of energy (PE) per day. The percentage of consumers was calculated for each food group and stratified by age (<6, 6-11, and 12-23 mo) and by breastfeeding status (breastfed or not breastfed). Differences in the consumption of food groups were analyzed by breastfeeding status, area of residence (urban or rural), and socioeconomic status (SES) by using linear regression adjusted for age, breastfeeding status, and survey design.
Only 35% of the children consumed breast milk. Infant formula was consumed by 48% in children aged <6 mo and by 33% in children 6-11 mo old. More than 35% of the children aged 6-11 and 12-23 mo and 12% of children <6 mo old consumed nondairy sugar-sweetened beverages. Legumes and seeds and maize-based preparations contributed a higher PE in rural areas (3.4% and 1.9%, respectively) than in urban areas (11.1% and 6.4%, respectively) (P < 0.05). Children from the lowest SES category consumed less PE from cereals other than maize (2.4%) and more from maize-based preparations (10.2%) than did the middle (4.9% from other cereals and 8.0% from maize) and high (6.0% from other cereals and 4.5% from maize) SES categories (P < 0.05).
Mexican children <24 mo of age do not consume a diet that meets recommendations, which is consistent with the high prevalence of malnutrition in Mexico.