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Household food insecurity but not dietary diversity is associated with children's mean micronutrient density adequacy in rural communities across Ghana

Christian, Aaron Kobina, Marquis, Grace S., Colecraft, Esi K., Lartey, Anna, Soueida, Rula
Nutrition 2019 v.65 pp. 97-102
agroecological zones, caregivers, children, food security, households, nutrient density, nutrient intake, rural communities, Ghana
The aim of this study was to examine predictors of household food insecurity, dietary diversity, and children's mean micronutrient density adequacy and the relationship among these dietary measures.Baseline analysis of a quasi-experimental 16-mo intervention study conducted in 12 rural communities in the three main agroecological zones in Ghana. The study included 608 caregivers with their 2- to 5-y-old children. Nutrient density adequacy was estimated for a subsample of 120 children.Food insecurity was more severe among farming households than their non-farming counterparts (P = 0.032). Dietary diversity score was significantly higher among non-farming households than farming households (P < 0.001). Food insecurity was negatively correlated with both household dietary diversity (r = –0.385; P < 0.001) and child mean micronutrient adequacy (r = –0.305; P < 0.001). There was no significant correlation between dietary diversity and children's mean micronutrient density adequacy. Belonging to a household that is severely food insecure and household size were significant predictors of children's mean micronutrient density adequacy (ß = –0.124, P = 0.006; ß = 0.011, P = 0.006, respectively).Household food insecurity continues to be a good indicator of lower nutrient intake in children.