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Responsive Feeding and Child Undernutrition in Low-and Middle-Income Countries

Research on responsive feeding is promising, but more research is needed to define child outcomes.

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  • N: 21
  • Inclusion criteria: Published research papers that studied Responsive Feeding in relation to infants and young children in low- and middle-income countries. Studies included populations of children less than 36 months and were published within the past 10 years in the English language. All articles followed the UNICEF child nutrition framework and had an outcome of child growth, dietary intake, illness or eating behavior and included a measure of responsive feeding.


  1. To present the evolution of Responsive Feeding (RF) research in relation to infants and young children (IYC) in low- and middle-income countries (LAMI). This paper serves to compile the research in support of responsive feeding contributing to the growth of IYC in LAMI countries.

Design—Systematic literature review



  1. The research already done on responsive feeding (RF) is promising but extremely weak due to wide variety in study design and lack of consistency among definitions of RF.
  2. None of the studies isolated for effects of RF and therefore cannot be utilized to reach conclusions on the effects of responsive feeding to child outcomes. Longitudinal studies and studies that isolate for the effects of RF are needed.


  • This paper is limited in its ability to generalize due to the vast variety of definitions utilized in the individual studies of RF.
  • The measures and variables looked at varied widely from study to study, making it difficult to determine any cross-study comparisons.