Factors Associated with Dietary Diversity among Children of Agro Pastoral Households in Afar Regional State, Northeastern Ethiopia

Misgan Legesse Liben


Introduction: Dietary diversity has been consistently associated with child nutritional status and growth in developing countries. Therefore, this study was aimed to identify the factors affecting dietary diversity among children of agro pastoral households in northeastern Ethiopia.Methods: A community-based cross sectional study was employed in Afambo district on 370 mother-child pairs. Binary and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify the factors associated with dietary diversity. Variables with a p-value < 0.05 were identified as statistically significant.Results: Overall 30.8% (95% CI: 26.1, 35.5%) of children aged 6-59 months achieved the minimum dietary diversity score (DDS) with mean score of 2.73. Mothers who got counseling on proper child feeding practices at postnatal checkup [AOR=3.7(1.45, 9.28)] and mothers who fed colostrum to their children were independent positive predictors of meeting minimum dietary diversity. The factor associated with decreased odds of meeting minimum dietary diversity was moderate to severe household hunger scale [AOR=0.24(0.10, 0.57)]. Conclusion: This study showed that nearly three children in every ten achieved the minimum DDS. Therefore, sound and culturally appropriate child feeding counseling during postnatal care should be given to mothers of young children so that they can make the possible use of locally available foods. In addition, expansion of social programs that might contribute to the earning capacity of poor households is also vital to ensure the dietary diversity.

Keywords: Children, dietary diversity, Afambo, Afar, Northeastern Ethiopia

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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