Association of cost of the diet with dietary diversity and nutrient adequacy in children aged 12 to 24 months.
Mulabisano, Tshavhuyo Audry
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Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and introduction of nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods after 6 months with continued breastfeeding to 2 years and beyond. A variety of foods in the diet is needed to ensure that the nutrient needs of breastfed and non-breastfed children are met. Price of food and affordability are the main barriers of accessing sufficient, safe and nutritious diets to meet dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Many low-income households cannot afford a healthy nutritionally adequate diet, because of the cost of nutrient-rich foods relative to income. Aim: The aim of the study was to determine whether cost of the diet is associated with dietary diversity, energy and nutrient density, and nutrient adequacy in breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding children aged 12 to 24 months. Objectives: For breastfed and non-breastfed children age 12 to 24 months, to determine: (i) dietary diversity, nutrient adequacy and cost of total dietary intake; (ii) dietary diversity, nutrient density, energy density and cost of the complementary diet; (iii) the association of cost of the diet with dietary diversity and nutrient adequacy; and (iv) the association of cost of the complementary diet with dietary diversity, nutrient density and energy density of the complementary Study design: The study is a descriptive study and used an existing dataset consisting of pooled previously collected 24-hour dietary recalls for children age 12 to 24 months from the two most recent independent studies (n=1064). The dataset included data on dietary energy and nutrients, mean adequacy ratio, nutrient adequacy ratios, micronutrient density per 100 kcal of the complementary diet and cost of food per 100g edible portion.