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Dietary diversity as a food security indicator

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  • Hoddinott, John
  • Yohannes, Yisehac

Abstract

Household food security is an important measure of well-being. Although it may not encapsulate all dimensions of poverty, the inability of households to obtain access to enough food for an active, healthy life is surely an important component of their poverty. Accordingly, devising an appropriate measure of food security outcomes is useful in order to identify the food insecure, assess the severity of their food shortfall, characterize the nature of their insecurity (for example, seasonal versus chronic), predict who is most at risk of future hunger, monitor changes in circumstances, and assess the impact of interventions. However, obtaining detailed data on food security status—such as 24- hour recall data on caloric intakes—can be time consuming and expensive and require a high level of technical skill both in data collection and analysis. This paper examines whether an alternative indicator, dietary diversity, defined as the number of unique foods consumed over a given period of time, provides information on household food security. It draws on data from 10 countries (India, the Philippines, Mozambique, Mexico, Bangladesh, Egypt, Mali, Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya) that encompass both poor and middle-income countries, rural and urban sectors, data collected in different seasons, and data on calories acquisition obtained using two different methods. ....[D]ietary diversity would appear to show promise as a means of measuring food security and monitoring changes and impact, particularly when resources available for such measurement are scarce.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND briefs with number 136.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcndbr:136

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Keywords: Food security. ; Poverty. ; Caloric intake. ; India. ; Philippines. ; Mozambique. ; Mexico. ; Bangladesh. ; Egypt. ; Mali. ; Malawi. ; Ghana. ; Kenya. ; Diet Developing countries. ;

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References

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  2. Datt, Gaurav & Simler, Kenneth & Mukherjee, Sanjukta & Dava, Gabriel, 2000. "Determinants of poverty in Mozambique (1996-97)," FCND discussion papers 78, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. FAYE Ousmane & BASCHIERI Angela & FALKINGHAM Jane & MUINDI Kanyiva, 2010. "Hunger and Food Insecurity in Nairobi's Slums: An assessment using IRT models'," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2010-33, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  2. Prabhu Pingali, 2004. "Westernization of Asian Diets and the Transformation of Food Systems: Implications for research and policy," Working Papers 04-17, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  3. Kinuthia, Emmanuel K., 2010. "The Effects Of The International Smallgroup And Tree Planting Program On Household Income In Nyeri District, Kenya," Research Theses 117709, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  4. Hoddinott, John & Sandstrom, Susanna & Upton, Joanna, 2013. "The impact of cash and food transfers: Evidence from a randomized intervention in Niger," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149919, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  5. Migotto, Mauro & Davis, Benjamin & Carletto, Gero & Beegle, Kathleen, 2006. "Measuring Food Security Using Respondents' Perception of Food Consumption Adequacy," Working Paper Series RP2006/88, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Molini, Vasco, 2006. "Food Security in Vietnam during the 1990s: The Empirical Evidence," Working Paper Series RP2006/67, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  7. Ssewanyana, Sarah N. & Kasirye, Ibrahim, 2010. "Food security in Uganda: a dilemma to achieving the millennium development goal," Research Series 113614, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).
  8. Abera Demeke & Alwin Keil & Manfred Zeller, 2011. "Using panel data to estimate the effect of rainfall shocks on smallholders food security and vulnerability in rural Ethiopia," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 185-206, September.
  9. D'Souza, Anna & Jolliffe, Dean, 2010. "Rising food prices and coping strategies : household-level evidence from Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5466, The World Bank.
  10. Ali, Mubarik & Farooq, Umar, 2004. "Dietary Diversity And Rural Labor Productivity: Evidence From Pakistan," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20310, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  11. Maluccio, John A. & Flores, Rafael, 2004. "Impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program," FCND briefs 184, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Ruel, Marie T., 2002. "Is dietary diversity an indicator of food security or dietary quality?," FCND briefs 140, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Maxwell, Daniel & Caldwell, Richard & Langworthy, Mark, 2008. "Measuring food insecurity: Can an indicator based on localized coping behaviors be used to compare across contexts?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 533-540, December.
  14. Asfaw, Abay, 2007. "Micronutrient deficiency and the prevalence of mothers' overweight/obesity in Egypt," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 471-483, December.
  15. Francesco Burchi & Pasquale De Muro, 2012. "A Human Development and Capability Approach to Food Security: Conceptual Framework and Informational Basis," Working Papers 2012-009, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP/RBA).
  16. Gilligan, Daniel O. & Roy, Shalini, 2013. "Resources, stimulation, and cognition: How transfer programs and preschool shape cognitive development in Uganda," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149822, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  17. Jones, Andrew D. & Shrinivas, Aditya & Bezner-Kerr, Rachel, 2014. "Farm production diversity is associated with greater household dietary diversity in Malawi: Findings from nationally representative data," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-12.

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