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      Food Insecurity, Food Based Coping Strategies and Suboptimal Dietary Practices of Adolescents in Jimma Zone Southwest Ethiopia


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          Despite the high prevalence of adolescent food insecurity in Ethiopia, there is no study which documented its association with suboptimal dietary practices. The objective of this study is to determine the association between adolescent food insecurity and dietary practices. We used data on 2084 adolescents in the age group of 13–17 years involved in the first round survey of the five year longitudinal family study in Southwest Ethiopia. Adolescents were selected using residence stratified random sampling methods. Food insecurity was measured using scales validated in developing countries. Dietary practices were measured using dietary diversity score, food variety score and frequency of consuming animal source food. Multivariable regression models were used to compare dietary behaviors by food security status after controlling for socio-demographic and economic covariates.

          Food insecure adolescents had low dietary diversity score (P<0.001), low mean food variety score (P<0.001) and low frequency of consuming animal source foods (P<0.001). After adjusting for other variables in a multivariable logistic regression model, adolescent food insecurity (P<0.001) and rural residence (P<0.001) were negatively associated with the likelihood of having a diversified diet (P<0.001) and frequency of consuming animal source foods, while a high household income tertile was positively associated. Similarly, multivariable linear regression model showed that adolescent food insecurity was negatively associated with food variety score, while residence in semi-urban areas (P<0.001), in urban areas (P<0.001) and high household income tertile (P = 0.013) were positively associated. Girls were less likely to have diversified diet (P = 0.001) compared with boys.

          Our findings suggest that food insecurity has negative consequence on optimal dietary intake of adolescents. Food security interventions should look into ways of targeting adolescents to mitigate these dietary consequences and provide alternative strategies to improve dietary quality of adolescents in Southwest Ethiopia.

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          Food variety and dietary diversity scores in children: are they good indicators of dietary adequacy?

          To assess whether a food variety score (FVS) and/or a dietary diversity score (DDS) are good indicators of nutrient adequacy of the diet of South African children. Secondary data analyses were undertaken with nationally representative data of 1-8-year-old children (n = 2200) studied in the National Food Consumption Study in 1999. An average FVS (mean number of different food items consumed from all possible items eaten) and DDS (mean number of food groups out of nine possible groups) were calculated. A nutrient adequacy ratio (NAR) is the ratio of a subject's nutrient intake to the estimated average requirement calculated using the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization (2002) recommended nutrient intakes for children. The mean adequacy ratio (MAR) was calculated as the sum of NARs for all evaluated nutrients divided by the number of nutrients evaluated, expressed as a percentage. MAR was used as a composite indicator for micronutrient adequacy. Pearson correlation coefficients between FVS, DDS and MAR were calculated and also evaluated for sensitivity and specificity, with MAR taken as the ideal standard of adequate intake. The relationships between MAR and DDS and between anthropometric Z-scores and DDS were also evaluated. The children had a mean FVS of 5.5 (standard deviation (SD) 2.5) and a mean DDS of 3.6 (SD 1.4). The mean MAR (ideal = 100%) was 50%, and was lowest (45%) in the 7-8-year-old group. The items with the highest frequency of consumption were from the cereal, roots and tuber group (99.6%), followed by the 'other group' (87.6%) comprising items such as tea, sugar, jam and sweets. The dairy group was consumed by 55.8%, meat group by 54.1%, fats by 38.9%, other vegetables by 30.8%, vitamin-A-rich by 23.8%, other fruit by 22%, legumes and nuts by 19.7% and eggs by 13.3%. There was a high correlation between MAR and both FVS (r = 0.726; P < 0.0001) and DDS (r = 0.657; P < 0.0001), indicating that either FVS or DDS can be used as an indicator of the micronutrient adequacy of the diet. Furthermore, MAR, DDS and FVS showed significant correlations with height-for-age and weight-for-age Z-scores, indicating a strong relationship between dietary diversity and indicators of child growth. A DDS of 4 and an FVS of 6 were shown to be the best indicators of MAR less than 50%, since they provided the best sensitivity and specificity. Either FVS or DDS can be used as a simple and quick indicator of the micronutrient adequacy of the diet.
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            A life course approach to diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases.

            To briefly review the current understanding of the aetiology and prevention of chronic diseases using a life course approach, demonstrating the life-long influences on the development of disease. A computer search of the relevant literature was done using Medline-'life cycle' and 'nutrition' and reviewing the articles for relevance in addressing the above objective. Articles from references dated before 1990 were followed up separately. A subsequent search using Clio updated the search and extended it by using 'life cycle', 'nutrition' and 'noncommunicable disease' (NCD), and 'life course'. Several published and unpublished WHO reports were key in developing the background and arguments. International and national public health and nutrition policy development in light of the global epidemic in chronic diseases, and the continuing nutrition, demographic and epidemiological transitions happening in an increasingly globalized world. RESULTS OF REVIEW: There is a global epidemic of increasing obesity, diabetes and other chronic NCDs, especially in developing and transitional economies, and in the less affluent within these, and in the developed countries. At the same time, there has been an increase in communities and households that have coincident under- and over-nutrition. The epidemic will continue to increase and is due to a lifetime of exposures and influences. Genetic predisposition plays an unspecified role, and with programming during fetal life for adult disease contributing to an unknown degree. A global rise in obesity levels is contributing to a particular epidemic of type 2 diabetes as well as other NCDs. Prevention will be the most cost-effective and feasible approach for many countries and should involve three mutually reinforcing strategies throughout life, starting in the antenatal period.
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              Growth and pubertal development in children and adolescents: effects of diet and physical activity.

              The longitudinal growth of an individual child is a dynamic statement of the general health of that child. Measurements should be performed often and accurately to detect alterations from physiologic growth. Although any single point on the growth chart is not very informative, when several growth points are plotted over time, it should become apparent whether that individual's growth is average, a variant of the norm, or pathologic. Somatic growth and maturation are influenced by several factors that act independently or in concert to modify an individual's genetic growth potential. Linear growth within the first 2 y of life generally decelerates but then remains relatively constant throughout childhood until the onset of the pubertal growth spurt. Because of the wide variation among individuals in the timing of the pubertal growth spurt, there is a wide range of physiologic variations in normal growth. Nutritional status and heavy exercise training are only 2 of the major influences on the linear growth of children. In the United States, nutritional deficits result from self-induced restriction of energy intake. That single factor, added to the marked energy expenditure of training and competition for some sports, and in concert with the self-selection of certain body types, makes it difficult to identify the individual factors responsible for the slow linear growth of some adolescent athletes, for example, those who partake in gymnastics, dance, or wrestling.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                12 March 2013
                : 8
                : 3
                : e57643
                [1 ]Department of Population and Family Health, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia
                [2 ]Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
                [3 ]Department of Sociology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America
                [4 ]Nutrition and Child Health Unit, Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
                University of Ottawa, Canada
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: DL DH TB AG. Performed the experiments: TB AG. Analyzed the data: TB PK CL DL LH. Wrote the paper: TB.

                Copyright @ 2013

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : 8 May 2012
                : 28 January 2013
                Page count
                Pages: 9
                The Jimma Longitudinal Family Survey of Youth was funded by the Packard Foundation, Campton Foundation, National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Social Epidemiology
                Mental Health
                Adolescent Psychiatry
                Developmental Psychology
                Social Psychology
                Non-Clinical Medicine
                Health Care Policy
                Child and Adolescent Health Policy
                Health Risk Analysis
                Psychological and Psychosocial Issues
                Socioeconomic Aspects of Health
                Adolescent Medicine
                Public Health
                Behavioral and Social Aspects of Health
                Socioeconomic Aspects of Health
                Social and Behavioral Sciences
                Human Capital
                Economics of Health
                Adjustment (Psychology)
                Social Welfare



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