270007 Household Food Security, Hunger, and Dietary Diversity and Quality in Rural Farming Communities in the Ecuadorian High Andes

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Margaret Weigel, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Rodrigo Armijos, MD, ScD , Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Maria de Los Angeles Mayorga, Ing , Office of Research, Universidad Regional Autonoma de Los Andes (UNIANDES), Ambato, Ecuador
Gladys Gutierrez, Lic , Department of Nursing, Universidad Regional Autonoma de los Andes (UNIANDES), Ambato, Ecuador
Little is known about household food security (HFS), hunger, and dietary diversity and quality in rural indigenous farming groups in the Ecuadorian High Andes. We conducted a pilot survey to explore these issues in four rural subsistence farming communities in the Ecuadorian Central Andean highlands. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 113 households (~12% of local households) using the USDA Household Food Security Scale Module, FAO Household Hunger Scale, and a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire adapted for local foods. Garlic cultivation constituted the main source of monthly cash income (US$39 34.3) for most of the subsistence farming households. Households reported experiencing marginal (23%), low FS (27.4%) and very low HFS (49.6%) during the previous 12-months. Six-tenths reported moderate (35.4%) or severe hunger (23.9%) during the past 4-weeks. Maternal education was inversely associated with food security (P=0.001) and hunger (P=0.006). The foods most frequently consumed daily were potatoes (62.5%), carrots (58.5%), and bread (35.4%). Compared to marginally food secure households, those with moderate or severe HFS reported reduced average weekly consumption of high-quality animal protein foods: meats (6.4 8.3 vs. 4.3 4 vs. 2.7 3.4; P=0.01), fish (4.9 3.6 vs. 2.4 2.5 vs. 0.9 1.4; P=0.03), eggs (2.6 3.8 vs. 1.2 2 vs. 0.8 1.5; P=0.02) and plant-based legume proteins (2.6 3.8 vs. 1.2 2 vs. 0.8 1.4; P=0.008). These findings are being used to plan comprehensive community-based interventions in the local area.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. To discuss the association of household food security and hunger with dietary quality and diversity in rural indigneous susbsistence farming communities living at high altitude in the Ecuadorian Central Andes.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Indigenous Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author as I have more than two decades of experience conducting funded nutrition and health research (in Ecuador, the US and Mexico)
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 5018.0: Poster Session: Nutrition