Online Program

Dietary Diversity, Food Security and Vitamin A Consumption in Rural Tigray, Ethiopia

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:56 p.m. - 3:09 p.m.

Rebecca J Schwei, MPH, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI
Haile Tesfay, PhD, International Potato Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Frezer Asfaw, International Potato Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Wellington Jogo, PhD, International Potato Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Heidi Busse, MPH, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine & Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Background: Dietary diversity (DD) is important to a healthy diet, and may be a useful indicator of food security. Not much is known about how dietary diversity relates to food security in rural Ethiopia. Vitamin A is essential for proper growth and development and consumption of Vitamin A rich foods is low. The objectives of this study were to describe household DD in rural Tigray, Ethiopia, evaluate the associations between household DD and food security and document consumption of vitamin A rich foods.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of 300 households in rural Tigray, Ethiopia. We collected data using structured questionnaires in the local language from February-March 2014. Questions were adapted from validated instruments, with DD assessed at the household level using 24-hour recall. We used an ordinal logistics regression model to assess the relationship between three tiers of DD (low, medium, high) and food security while controlling for agricultural zone, educational variables and household characteristics.

Results: 23%, 47%, and 30% of the households had low medium and high DD respectively. Among high DD households, eggs and fruit were the most common foods added to the diet. In the fully adjusted model, participants that reported being food secure had 1.80 increased odds of greater DD (CI:1.0-3.2). On-farm income, access to credit, electricity, radio ownership, and literacy were other factors associated with increased DD. Eighty-six percent of participants consumed Vitamin A-rich foods in the last 24 hours; this did not vary by dietary diversity tertile.

Conclusion: In this sample, food security was positively associated with DD. Other sociodemographic factors were also associated with DD. Although vitamin A consumption appears high, we know consumption varies seasonally. The results suggest that a variety local factors that influence food consumption behaviors should be considered when developing programs to improve nutrition and health status.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the household dietary diversity in the Tigray region of Ethiopia Evaluate the association between household dietary diversity and multiple sociodemographic factors Describe household consumption of Vitamin A-rich foods

Keyword(s): Dietary Assessment, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in the planning and training around data collection for the data presented in this abstract. Additionally, I came up with the study question, conducted the analysis and interpreted the results. I have a master's degree in public nutrition and have previous experience conducting ordinal logistic regression models.
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: 4331.0: Nutrition and malnutrition