Exploring why junk foods are ‘essential’ foods and how culturally tailored recommendations improved feeding in Egyptian children


Publish Date: December 2014
Author: Justine A. Kavle, Sohair Mehanna, Gulsen Saleh, Mervat A. Fouad, Magda Ramzy, Doaa Hamed, Mohamed Hassan, Ghada Khan, and Rae Galloway
Language: English


This study utilized the trials of improved practices (TIPs) methodology to gain an understanding of the cultural beliefs and perceptions related to feeding practices of infants and young children 0–23 months of age and used this information to work in tandem with 150 mothers to implement feasible solutions to feeding problems in Lower and Upper Egypt. Study findings reveal high consumption of junk foods among toddlers, increasing in age and peaking at 12–23 months of age.

Although challenges in feeding nutritious foods exist, mothers were able to substitute junk foods with locally available and affordable foods. Future programming should build upon cultural considerations learned in TIPs to address sustainable, meaningful changes in infant and young child feeding to reduce junk foods and increase dietary quality, quantity and frequency.


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