Seasonality of consumption of nonstaple nutritious foods among young children from Nepal's 3 agroecological zones

Elena T. Broaddus-Shea, Andrew L. Thorne-Lyman, Swetha Manohar, Bareng A.S. Nonyane, Peter J. Winch, Keith P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Children's dietary patterns vary seasonally, particularly in subsistence agriculture settings like Nepal, but the seasonality of nutritious nonstaple food consumption is not well explored in the literature. Objective: This study aimed to examine seasonal differences in children's consumption of provitamin A-rich fruit and vegetables, dairy, eggs, meat, and fish in Nepal's 3 agroecological zones, and to assess whether seasonal patterns vary by wealth and caste/ethnicity. Methods: Multivariable negative binomial regression models were used to analyze dietary data from 7-d food-frequency questionnaires, producing coefficient estimates in the form of incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Data were collected 3 times per year for 2 y from children aged 6-72 mo in Nepal's mountains (n = 226), hills (n = 168), and plains (n = 225). Results: There were significant seasonal differences in children's consumption of provitamin A-rich fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish that varied by agroecological zone. Adopting monsoon season as the referent for all comparisons, children in the mountains ate provitamin A-rich fruit and vegetables less frequently during the postmonsoon and winter seasons (IRRs: 0.5 and 0.7, respectively; both P < 0.004), whereas in the plains, children's consumption of these foods was lower only during the postmonsoon season (IRR: 0.2; P < 0.001). Children's dairy intake frequency increased during the winter in the mountains (IRR: 0.7; P < 0.004) and decreased during the winter in the hills (IRR: 1.5; P < 0.001). Only in the plains did children's meat and fish intakes vary seasonally, increasing during the postmonsoon season (IRR: 1.6; P < 0.004). Wealth and caste/ethnicity variability influenced children's consumption of each of these nutritious groups of foods, and moderated seasonal effects in some instances. Conclusions: Children's diets varied differently by season within each agroecological zone of Nepal and in some cases across socioeconomic groups, revealing the importance of taking a season- and location-specific approach to assessing diets and tailoring dietary strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernzy058
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition
Volume2
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Keywords

  • Dietary diversity
  • Infant and young child feeding
  • Micronutrient-rich foods
  • Nutrition-sensitive agriculture
  • Seasonality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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