Intra-household consumption patterns and food preferences

Analysis of dietary diversity and determinants of fish consumption among women, children and households in Bangladesh

Lucy Njogu

Malnutrition in Bangladesh is still a challenge, especially among women and children, partly due to low dietary diversity and discrimination in intra-household food allocation. Given the high levels of malnutrition in Bangladesh, and the importance of fish in providing micro-nutrients, we sought to understand the dietary diversity levels, patterns and fish consumption determinants in households, and among women and children. We collected data from 2669 households in Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions. The study employs a Household Dietary Diversity (HDD), Individual Dietary Diversity – Women (IDD-W) and Minimum Dietary Diversity (MDD) to analyze the diversity of diets in general households, among women and children, respectively. Results indicate that although the average HDD was relatively high (8.22), the mean IDD _W for women and children was much lower at 4.99 and 4.90, respectively. Dietary diversity scores increased with consumption of fish and number of fish species consumed. Intrahousehold discrimination and substitution of fish and other types of meat in the households, was evident from the results. Households consumed an average of two species and the most commonly consumed fish species were not necessarily the most affordable. Increase in level of education and pond ownership were among the factors that were found to increase fish consumption. Counterintuitively, distance to the market and the price of fish were found to increase fish consumption. We recommend promotion of policies that encourage consumption of nutritious foods; such as fish, among women and children. In addition, we recommend that development organizations consider tastes and preferences in implementing fish related projects.

Evaluating nutritional knowledge, attitudes and practices among the vulnerable population in selected tribal locations in Telangana, India

Padmaja Ravula

Purpose: Among the tribal populations in Telangana, pregnant women and lactating mothers are more susceptible to undernutrition because of low socioeconomic status, gender norms, market access, dietary habits and practices, and availability of nutritious food. Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) studies offer an opportunity to better understand the sociocultural, psychological and behavioral determinants of nutrition, providing evidence for planning knowledge interventions. This paper aims to assess nutrition KAP during pregnancy and lactation in selected locations in Adilabad and Kumaram Bheem-Asifabad districts of Telangana, India.
Methods: A cross-sectional KAP survey was conducted on 536 individuals in the selected locations from February–March 2020. Tablet-based data collection was implemented for pregnant women, lactating mothers, young mothers and functionaries/frontline workers (Anganwadi [rural childcare center in India], schoolteachers and Accredited Social Health Activists [ASHA] workers). Alongside descriptive statistics, different weightage method was adopted to generate the KAP scores for the respondents.
Results: The results reveal that regarding the three micronutrients (iron, vitamin A and iodine), the knowledge levels of pregnant women, lactating mothers and young mothers were low i.e., less than 50 percent when compared with the functionaries/frontline workers. Pregnant women scored low on attitudes regarding micronutrients compared to lactating mothers, young mothers, and functionaries/frontline workers. Attitudes translate into practices; however, the data revealed that pregnant women, lactating mothers, and young mothers were not adopting appropriate dietary and nutrition practices except for the micronutrient iodine. The inadequate knowledge of all categories of respondents indicates a gap in nutrition literacy and education.
Conclusion: The results point to the urgent need for policy action for nutrition education interventions among the vulnerable population. Some of the impactful policy actions would include (1) all (ICDS) staff operating in the field have to take mandatory nutrition knowledge sessions—potentially developed by ICDS, (2) mandatory training for all ICDS functionaries on maternal and child nutrition and health, (3) regular training for young mothers to take part in ICDS activities in the anganwadis.

Gendered mapping and consumer testing of steamed matooke in urban areas of Uganda

Susan Ajambo

This paper explores the attributes of steamed matooke that are (un)desirable for urban consumers in Uganda by gender, age, and income status. Gendered food mapping involving the use of focus group discussions (FGDs) and individual in-depth interviews (IDIs) was conducted, followed by a consumer test with 381 consumers where four steamed matooke samples/cultivars were evaluated (Nakitembe, Kibuzi, Ntika and Mpologoma). Of the cultivars assessed Kibuzi was most preferred during the FGDs and had the highest mean overall liking in the consumer test (7.2). Ntika was least preferred (5.9). However, differences were observed among income classes and gender groups (sex and age). High- and low-income consumers gravitate toward Kibuzi, while for middle income consumers it was Mpologoma. The women (adult and youth) showed more preference for Mpologoma, while the men liked Nakitembe more. The mapping of sensory characteristics showed that the key drivers of overall liking were a yellow color; a nice aroma; attractive looking; sweet (delicious, not sweet like sugar); homogeneous (one color); good taste and soft. Matooke taste proved a key determinant for the preference of steamed Kibuzi over the other varieties. It is important to undertake a sensory quantitative descriptive analysis and physio-chemical characterization of this attribute, to guide breeding efforts geared toward improving sensory acceptability of matooke cultivars. Differences were observed in preference among different income and gender categories, and breeders need to package products based on the preferences of the various socio-demographic segments, including by gender and income class groupings to enhance new cultivar adoption.