Pastoralists’ food environment and its effects on food choice, consumption, nutrition and health outcomes in Kenya

Project: PhD

Project Details


Pastoralists are disproportionately affected by malnutrition. Poor diet intake is a major cause of malnutrition in pastoralist settings in Africa including Kenya. Pastoralists depend on their livestock for livelihood and food yet are vulnerable to shocks such as drought and livestock diseases, which affect food sources, prices, access and affordability. This affects food choice and diet consumption especially among women of reproductive age. We aim to assess the pastoralist food environment, dietary intake, motives of food choice, and effect of shocks (drought/livestock disease) on these and, identify and evaluate feasibility of optimized diets to improve consumption of healthy and affordable diets in these contexts. This four-part thesis will (1) systematically review the food environment and consumption patterns of pastoralists in Africa; (2) assess dietary intakes of Women of Reproductive Age (WRA) in pastoralist Isiolo County, Kenya in two seasons to identify dietary patterns, food and nutrient gaps and to optimize diets for healthiness and cost. This part will also explore the effect of seasonality and livestock disease on diet consumption; (3) assess the motives of food choice and diet consumption among WRA and (4) based on results from the previous three parts to evaluate feasibility of optimized diets. Trials for Improved Practices (TIPs) approach will be used to identify feasibility of implementation of optimized diets. R software will be used for Latent Class Analysis to characterize and identify dietary patterns, multiple logistic and linear regressions to determine factors associated with class membership and linear modelling to optimize for healthiness and cost. Analysis using NVivo software will identify the most salient drivers of food choice among WRA.
Effective start/end date15/03/22 → …


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