Title: Causes of Suboptimal Eating Habits in Children Ages 0-5 Hospitalized at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital's Pediatric Ward
Author(s): Kaduku Rasuri
Year 2023
File: PDF

Healthy feeding habits significantly impact the well-being of individuals within communities
by providing essential nutrients for growth and development. This study aimed to examine
the various factors influencing inadequate feeding patterns among children under five years
old admitted to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital's pediatric ward. Employing both
quantitative and qualitative methods, the study highlighted key findings from interviews
with respondents. Notably, a significant portion of parents (42.7%) of hospitalized children
fell within the 16-30 age group. The focus on this age bracket stemmed from the critical
phase of weaning children from breastfeeding, potentially impacting their immune
systems—a concern highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008 regarding
the hospitalization of under-five children due to malaria and compromised immune statuses
after weaning. The study emphasized the profound impact of illness on feeding patterns,
with approximately 47.2% of children experiencing frequent sickness and 47.5% undergoing
changes in treatment during their hospital stay. Financial constraints were also a prevalent
issue, with nearly 40% of mothers lacking funds at some point, directly affecting their ability
to maintain adequate feeding practices and potentially leading to malnutrition in children
under five. Overall, the study identified illness as a primary driver of poor feeding habits
among hospitalized children, often resulting in loss of appetite and vomiting. Concurrently,
poverty emerged as another significant contributor to inadequate feeding practices in this
demographic, highlighting the multifaceted nature of challenges affecting the nutritional
well-being of under-five children in the hospital setting.
Keywords: Good feeding, Poor feeding patterns, Pediatric ward, Children under five,