The Effect of Exclusive Breastfeeding on Underweight in Children under Five: A Meta-Analysis Study

Amallia Wijiwinarsih1), Tri Nugraha Susilawati2)Bhisma Murti1)


1)Masters Program in Public  Health, Universitas Sebelas Maret

2)Facultyof Medicine, Universitas Sebelas Maret



Background: Underweight is a form of malnutrition that has become global public health concern over the past few decades. Underweight prevalence was reported to reach 91.2 million or 13.5% of children worldwide. Data from WHO, UNICEF, and World Bank showed that global coverage of exclusive breastfeeding was still low, only 40% of children. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of exclusive breast­feeding on underweight in children under five using meta-analysis.

Subjectand Method: Systematic review was carried out by searching articles from Pub­Med, SCOPUS, DOAJ, BASE, EBSCO, Emerald, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, Re­searchGate, and Google Scholar databases. This study sought observational study with mul­tivariate adjusted odds ratio (AOR) analysis. Underweight was defined as weight for age (WAZ) Z score <-2. Meta-analysis study was run on RevMan 5 with fixed and random effects model.

Results: There were 10 articles with 3 study design selected for meta-analysis. Cross sec­tional, case-control, and cohort studies reported that exclusive breastfeeding re­duced the risk of underweight in children under five (OR= 0.58; 95% CI= 0.23 to 1.43; p= 0.230), (OR= 0.33; 95% CI= 0.15 to 0.69; p= 0.004), and (OR= 0.77; 95% CI= 0.48 to 1.25; p= 0.210), respectively. There was publication bias in this study.

Conclusion:Exclusive breastfeedingreduces the risk of underweight in children under five.

Keywords:exclusive breastfeeding, underweight, meta-analysis.

CorrespondenceAmallia Wijiwinarsih. Masters Program in Public Health. Universitas Sebelas Maret, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Surakarta57126, Central Java, Indonesia. Email: Mobile: 0857261706.


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