Vitamin A deficiency remains a public health problem in Burkina Faso and elsewhere in the developing world. Dietary diversification is a promising strategy that needs to be explored to strengthen the country's ongoing supplementation program. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify locally available and acceptable (pro)vitamin A-rich foods to be included in a dietary intervention addressing vitamin A deficiency in children aged six months to three years. METHODS: A food ethnographic study combining recall methods, observation, and focused group discussion was conducted in the dry and rainy seasons. Thirty-five mother-child pairs were randomly selected and included in the study. RESULTS: The dietary pattern of children was characterized by low diversity with extremely low energy and vitamin A intake in both seasons. The study identified the availability of numerous (pro)vitamin A-rich foods, but these foods are either not consumed or consumed by few in low amounts and/or in low frequencies. The main constraining factors identified are related to financial accessibility (for liver), seasonal availability (for egg, milk, mango, papaya, and green leafy vegetables), and beliefs related to consumption and preparation (for green leafy vegetables). However, the study also revealed that the study population associated all identified (pro)vitamin A-rich foods with positive attributes such as health, strength, and vitamin richness, which might offer an entry point for designing and implementing dietary interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the findings of this formative research, intervention strategies with mango and liver are proposed to improve the vitamin A intake and status of children in the rural areas of Burkina Faso.
|Journal||Food and Nutrition Bulletin|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|