Dietary risk factors associated with acute and persistent diarrhea in children in Karachi, Pakistan

Document Type



Diabetes/Endocrinology and Metabolism


Feeding practices may have an important impact on diarrheal diseases in developing countries. This study evaluated feeding practices in three groups of male children aged 6-36 mo: 100 with persistent diarrhea (PD), 79 with acute diarrhea (AD), and 86 in a comparison group (CG). The children came from comparably poor socioeconomic settings in Karachi, Pakistan, except that the literacy rates were higher in mothers of the CG (P = 0.0001). Although greater than 95% of all infants were breast-fed, delayed initiation of breast-feeding was more common in the diarrhea groups. Children with diarrhea were also more likely to receive supplemental milk (PD = 92%, AD = 87%) than were children in the CG (69%, P less than 0.05). Feedings were not withheld during diarrhea but changes were made in the nature of foods given. These results indicate that several feeding practices may be important risk factors for diarrhea in Pakistan.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition