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Nutrients 2019, 11(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11020354

Animal Source Food Consumption in Young Children from Four Regions of Ethiopia: Association with Religion, Livelihood, and Participation in the Productive Safety Net Program

1
Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
2
Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
3
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University, Mekelle 231, Ethiopia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
PDF [357 KB, uploaded 8 February 2019]

Abstract

Introduction: Child undernutrition remains a challenge globally and in the geographically diverse country of Ethiopia. Improving dietary diversity and consumption of animal source foods are important for improving child nutrition and corresponding health outcomes. Objective: The objective of the study was to identify household and community factors associated with consumption of animal source foods among 6 to 36-month-old children from four regions of Ethiopia. Methods: A cross-sectional survey using multistage probability sampling in eight geographic zones and four regions of Ethiopia took place in 2015 with parents/caretakers of 6 to 36-month-old children. Data was collected on demographic information, proxy indicators of socioeconomic status, and food consumed by the child the day before the survey. Results: Increased child age, pastoral livelihood, Muslim religion, and participation in the Productive Safety Net Program were associated with increased consumption of animal source foods. Odds of animal source foods consumption increased by 8% with each 3-month age increase. Children from pastoralist households were the most likely to have consumed animal source foods in the preceding 24 hours as compared with those in agro-pastoralist households (0.21 times as likely) or those in agriculturalist/farming households (0.15 times as likely). The odds of consumption of animal source foods for families with food aid or safety net support was 1.7 times greater among those receiving traditional support from the Productive Safety Net Program and 4.5 times greater for those in the direct support arm of the program. Conclusions: The findings illustrate the importance of accounting for local context and community characteristics, such as livelihood and religion, when undertaking programming designed to improve diversity of children’s diets through increasing animal source foods. In addition, the Productive Safety Net Program may be a critical determinant of dietary diversity for young children in these regions.
Keywords: child nutrition disorders; animal source foods; diet; food and nutrition; dietary diversity; food assistance child nutrition disorders; animal source foods; diet; food and nutrition; dietary diversity; food assistance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Potts, K.S.; Mulugeta, A.; Bazzano, A.N. Animal Source Food Consumption in Young Children from Four Regions of Ethiopia: Association with Religion, Livelihood, and Participation in the Productive Safety Net Program. Nutrients 2019, 11, 354.

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