Malaysian Journal of Nutrition. 2013;19(1):131-138 (part 1) and 2013;19(1):139-142 (part 2)
During the 2nd ILSI SEA Region Expert Consultation and Planning Meeting in 2011, the following information gaps were identified: (i) Some Southeast Asian countries did not have data on infant and young child feeding (IYCF) indicators; (ii) There is a need to know the reasons for the disparities in duration of breastfeeding, age of giving complementary foods, and other breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices in Southeast Asian populations; (iii) Optimal complementary feeding practices that are most suitable in the context of Southeast Asia need to be identified. This report presents highlights from a literature review regarding the above topics. Findings from nationwide surveys and small scale studies were compiled to provide a snapshot of the state of infant and young child feeding practices in the region. Results for Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam are presented here.
The Infant and Early Childhood Nutrition Task Force, International Life Sciences Institute Southeast Asia (ILSI SEA) Region, organised the 1st and 2nd Expert Consultation and Planning Meeting on Infant and Early Childhood Nutrition in 2009 and 2011, respectively. The goal of the consultations was “to generate and promote relevant science-based information that will help improve nutritional status, growth and development of infants and young children in Southeast Asia.” An Expert Panel Core Group was created whose role is to provide advice and recommendations through a review of current scientific knowledge regarding issues related to early childhood growth and nutrition. The Panel is composed of experts representing 7 countries (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). In July 2012, the Panel convened the 3rd Expert Consultation and Planning Meeting on Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Singapore. This report presents the highlights of the meeting and recommendations made by the Panel on ways to improve infant and young child nutrition in Southeast Asia. The effective use of WHO indicators for assessing infant and young child feeding practices, mitigating the effects of maternal employment on breastfeeding, using behaviour change communication, updating the education of health personnel, and improving maternal health were considered important actions to be taken. Since current feeding practices in Southeast Asia fall short of WHO recommendations, studies are needed to develop strategies which take into consideration the diverse cultural settings that characterise the region.