Can household dietary diversity inform about nutrient adequacy? Lessons from a food systems analysis in Ethiopia

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Abstract

This study examined the use of the household dietary diversity score (HDDS) to assess household nutrient adequacy in Ethiopia. It also examined the correlates of HDDS following the food systems framework. Results show that the average nutrient consumption in Ethiopia varies by place of residence and by income profile, where households in urban areas and those in the higher income quintiles rank favorably. Among 13 nutrients under study, we found nutrient inadequacy for fat, calcium, zinc, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin C and vitamin A ranging between 46% and 89%, and the prevalence of inadequacy for vitamin B12 to be up to 100%. Econometric results showed that HDDS is a strong predictor of a household’s mean probability of nutrient adequacy (MPA), and that an HDDS of 10 is the minimum threshold at which HDDS can improve household MPA. We found suggestive evidence within the food systems that improving household-incomes, access to health and transport services are beneficial to improve HDDS and nutrient consumption in Ethiopia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Security
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Ethiopia
  • Food systems
  • Household dietary diversity
  • Nutrient adequacy

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