Household food production is positively associated with dietary diversity and intake of nutrient-dense foods for older preschool children in poorer families: Results from a nationally-representative survey in Nepal

Prajula Mulmi, William A. Masters, Shibani Ghosh, Grace Namirembe, Ruchita Rajbhandary, Swetha Manohar, Binod Shrestha, Keith P. West, Patrick Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Nutrition-sensitive interventions supporting enhanced household food production have potential to improve child dietary quality. However, heterogeneity in market access may cause systematic differences in program effectiveness depending on household wealth and child age. Identifying these effect modifiers can help development agencies specify and target their interventions. Objective: This study investigates mediating effects of household wealth and child age on links between farm production and child diets, as measured by production and intake of nutrient-dense food groups. Methods: Two rounds (2013 and 2014) of nationally representative survey data (n = 5,978 observations) were used to measure production and children’s dietary intake, as well as a household wealth index and control variables, including breastfeeding. Novel steps used include measuring production diversity in terms of both species grown and food groups grown, as well as testing for mediating effects of family wealth and age of child. Results: We find significant associations between child dietary diversity and agricultural diversity in terms of diversity of food groups and of species grown, especially for older children in poorer households, and particularly for fruits and vegetables, dairy and eggs. With each additional food group produced, log-odds of meeting minimum dietary diversity score (≥4) increase by 0.25 (p = 0.01) for children aged 24–59 months. For younger children aged 18–23 months there is a similar effect size but only in the poorest two quintiles of household wealth, and for infants 6–18 months we find no correlation between production and intake in most models. Conclusions: Child dietary intake is associated with the composition of farm production, most evident among older preschool children and in poorer households. To improve the nutrition of infants, other interventions are needed; and for relatively wealthier households, own farm production may displace market purchases, which could attenuate the impact of household production on child diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0186765
JournalPloS one
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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