African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
Vol. 20, No. 5, 2020, pp. 16290-16308
Bioline Code: nd20075
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 20, No. 5, 2020, pp. 16290-16308
© Copyright 2020 - African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
ASSOCIATIONS AMONG FOOD SECURITY, BMI, DIET DIVERSITY AND FOOD CONSUMPTION PATTERNS OF WOMEN IN RURAL KENYA|
Walton, C; Taylor, J; Ogada, I; Agon, N & Raynor, L
Enhancing food security is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Improved agricultural production is an approach to addressing food insecurity. However,
these efforts can result in significant changes that are associated with increased risk of
non-communicable chronic diseases. Previous research with women in Central Kenya
found that the number of years a woman-farmer was engaged in dairy development was
associated with greater food security and energy (kJ) intake. No studies have examined
food security and the nutrition transition among rural farm women involved in dairy
development initiatives. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2009 and again in
2017. Chain referral sampling was used in 2009 to recruit 111 women in five groups
based on how long they had been a dairy group member (non-members and members
from one to more than 10 years). In 2017, 20 women were randomly selected from 85 of
the dairy-group member households surveyed in 2009 and a comparison group of 20
women was randomly selected from a list that was generated by referral from the
participants. In person one-on-one interviews were conducted with a translator.
Demographic, household food security, and dietary intake were collected in both years.
In 2009 women’s height and weight data were collected for BMI calculation.
Associations among food security, BMI, dietary intake, and year of data collection were
examined. Demographic characteristics were comparable between 2009 and 2017 and
between food secure and food insecure households. In both years, the majority of
households were categorized as not food insecure (67% and 75%; 2009 and 2017,
respectively). In 2009 almost half the women (49.4%) had BMIs in the overweight and
obese category. Food secure women had a significantly higher median BMI (26.5)
compared with food insecure women (24.0). Diet diversity was low (≤5) for all women
and there was little evidence for a classic “western diet” of the nutrition transition. There
was evidence of globalization in food availability and greater purchasing capacity that
was demonstrated by the high proportion of women that consumed sugar, refined fats
and oils, refined maize and wheat flours, and bread. Household food security was
associated with the consumption of sugar, cabbage, wheat flour and bread. These
findings support a unique rural nutrition transition, with food security, characterized by
low dietary diversity, access to refined basic foods and high unhealthy BMI.
Governments and non-governmental organizations need to support nutrition-sensitive
agriculture and public health programs to curb the crisis of overweight,
undernourishment and chronic diseases.
agriculture; nutrition transition; rural; farm; Kenya; women; BMI; diet diversity
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