Acta Scientific Nutritional Health

Research ArticleVolume 2 Issue 8

Gender Preferences in the Distribution of Food among 6 - 24 Months Children in an Urban Community of Kolkata

Pampa Basu1*, Arupkumar Chakrabartty2, Urmila Dasgupta1, Krishnadas Bhattacharyya1, Saikat Bhattacharya1and Kazi Monjur Ali3

1Department of Community Medicine, Medical College, Kolkata, India
2Health Vision and Research, Kolkata, India
3Department of Nutrition, M.U.C. Women’s College, Burdwan, India

*Corresponding Author: Pampa Basu, Department of Community Medicine, Medical College, Kolkata, India.

Received: June 11, 2018; Published: July 04, 2018

Citation: Pampa Basu. et al.“Gender Preferences in the Distribution of Food among 6 - 24 Months Children in an Urban Community of Kolkata ”. Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 2.8 (2018).


Background: From ages, gender differences were common in education, food distribution, healthcare, and in several other resources. In our society, people had put more preferences for sons than their daughters. In this context, the study was conducted to explore the extent of gender differences for access to breastfeeding and complementary feeding among young children in an urban area in Kolkata.

Methods: The study was conducted in a small urban slum area in Kolkata Municipal Corporation, India. The qualitative study was conducted using in-depth interviews among 13 mothers having children among 6 - 24 months. The study was carried out based on purposive and convenient sampling. Respondents were heterogeneous, as much as possible, to capture maximum variations of the opinions. Areas considered for the study were exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, commercial infant food and health drinks, and normal family diet provided to the children of 6-24 months.

Results: It has been observed that daughters were fed breast milk for less duration compared to boys. Parents had a preference for sons in providing food items like commercial infant food, fish, health drinks or similar things perceived to be better. Important determinants those influenced son preference were the profile of parents, knowledge of parents, norms of the community, peer influence and communication skills of the services providers of different government schemes. For nutrition care, daughters were neglected more compared with the boys.

Conclusion: This qualitative study indicated that there was gender preference for the provision of food and nutrition care for children of 6-24 months. The outcome of the study may guide to formulate a quantitative study in urban areas to estimate the extent of the influence of determinants of the gender preference.

Keywords: Gender; Breastfeeding; Supplementary Feeding; Urban Slum

Copyright: © 2018 Deniz D Tosun and Emrah Kaya. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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