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Household dietary diversity and food expenditures are closely linked in rural Bangladesh, increasing the risk of malnutrition due to the financial crisis

Nature Thorne-Lyman, A. L., Valpiani, N., Sun, K., Semba, R. D., Klotz, L. C., Kraemer, K., Akhter, N., de Pee, S., Moench-Pfanner, R., Sari, M., Bloem, M. W. 2009-11-18
Article on the associations between household dietary diversity and commonly used indicators of socioeconomic status, including food expenditures, in Bangladesh. Such diversity scores are increasingly used as measures of food security and proxies for nutrient adequacy. Data representative of rural Bangladesh were collected from 188,835 households over 18 rounds of bi-monthly data collection from 2003–05. A simple household dietary diversity score was developed by summing the number of days each household consumed an item from each of 7 food groups over a 7-day period. The dietary diversity score was associated with per capita nongrain food expenditures (r = 0.415), total food expenditures (r = 0.327), and total household expenditures (r = 0.332) using Spearman correlations (all P < 0.0001). The frequency of meat and egg consumption showed greater variation across quintiles of total monthly expenditure than other items contributing to the dietary diversity score. After controlling for other measures of socioeconomic status in multiple linear regression models, the dietary diversity score was significantly associated with monthly per capita food and total expenditures. Low dietary diversity during the period prior to major food price increases indicates potential risk for worsening of micronutrient deficiencies and child malnutrition in Bangladesh.
  • Economic
  • Education
  • Food Insecurity
  • Gender and/or Agency
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Asia
  • Bangladesh
  • South Asia
  • Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
  • Adult men
  • Adult women
  • Adults (men and/or women 19+ years old)
  • Children (boys and/or girls 1-10 years old)
  • Country-level population(s)
  • Households
  • Mothers
  • Research
  • Article
  • Journal article

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