Nutrients (Feb 2021)

Socioeconomic and Geographic Pattern of Food Consumption and Dietary Diversity among Children Aged 6–23 Months Old in Ghana

  • Isaac Anane,
  • Fengying Nie,
  • Jiaqi Huang

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020603
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 603
p. 603

Abstract

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Dietary inadequacy is a major challenge among young children in Ghana. Nutritional policies are required for optimum child nutrition and development. This study explored food consumption and dietary diversity by socioeconomic status and geographical location among children aged 6–23 months in Ghana. We used the latest national representative, cross-sectional data from the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS-2014). A total of 887 children aged 6–23 months were used in the final analysis. The survey collected data on children’s food consumption through their mothers in the 24 h recall method. Multiple logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between socioeconomic status and geographical location with food consumption and adequate dietary diversity after adjusting for control variables. The study revealed an association between specific food item consumption, food groups, and dietary diversity by socioeconomic and geographic characteristics. However, dairy consumption increased faster than other nutritional foods when socioeconomic status increased. Furthermore, the study revealed that children’s chances of consuming particular food items and food groups differed across Ghana’s 10 regions. The average probabilities of consuming adequate dietary diversity between the Greater Accra region and Ashanti region were 43% vs. 8% (p 0.001). Consumption of grains, root, and tubers were relatively higher but low for Vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables and legumes and nuts for children aged 6–23 months in Ghana. Overall, the mean dietary diversity score was low (3.39; 95% CI: 3.30–3.49) out of eight food groups, and the prevalence of adequate dietary diversity was 22% only. There is a need for policy interventions to ensure appropriate dietary practices to promote healthy growth of children.

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