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Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1799; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111799

Does Village Chicken-Keeping Contribute to Young Children’s Diets and Growth? A Longitudinal Observational Study in Rural Tanzania

1
Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Kent ME4 4TB, UK
2
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
3
Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
4
The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
5
Department of Anthropology, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
6
International Rural Poultry Centre, Kyeema Foundation, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia
7
Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Dar es Salaam 11000, Tanzania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 7 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Vulnerable Groups)
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Abstract

There is substantial current interest in linkages between livestock-keeping and human nutrition in resource-poor settings. These may include benefits of improved diet quality, through animal-source food consumption and nutritious food purchases using livestock-derived income, and hazards of infectious disease or environmental enteric dysfunction associated with exposure to livestock feces. Particular concerns center on free-roaming chickens, given their proximity to children in rural settings, but findings to date have been inconclusive. This longitudinal study of 503 households with a child under 24 months at enrolment was conducted in villages of Manyoni District, Tanzania between May 2014, and May 2016. Questionnaires encompassed demographic characteristics, assets, livestock ownership, chicken housing practices, maternal education, water and sanitation, and dietary diversity. Twice-monthly household visits provided information on chicken numbers, breastfeeding and child diarrhea, and anthropometry was collected six-monthly. Multivariable mixed model analyses evaluated associations between demographic, socioeconomic and livestock-associated variables and (a) maternal and child diets, (b) children’s height-for-age and (c) children’s diarrhea frequency. Alongside modest contributions of chicken-keeping to some improved dietary outcomes, this study importantly (and of substantial practical significance if confirmed) found no indication of a heightened risk of stunting or greater frequency of diarrhea being associated with chicken-keeping or the practice of keeping chickens within human dwellings overnight. View Full-Text
Keywords: undernutrition; food security; nutrition security; village chickens; livestock; animal-source food; Tanzania; sub-Saharan Africa; resource-poor settings undernutrition; food security; nutrition security; village chickens; livestock; animal-source food; Tanzania; sub-Saharan Africa; resource-poor settings
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De Bruyn, J.; Thomson, P.C.; Darnton-Hill, I.; Bagnol, B.; Maulaga, W.; Alders, R.G. Does Village Chicken-Keeping Contribute to Young Children’s Diets and Growth? A Longitudinal Observational Study in Rural Tanzania. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1799.

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