Title: Dietary diversity in relation to other household food security indicators

Authors: Mieke Faber, Craig Schwabe, Scott Drimie

Addresses: Nutritional Intervention Research Unit, Medical Research Council, PO Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa. ' GIS Centre, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, Private Bag X41, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. ' International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Food Consumption and Nutrition Division, 2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006-1002, USA

Abstract: This article describes dietary diversity in relation to other food security indicators used in a cross-sectional livelihood survey that included 499 randomly selected households within five municipalities in Greater Sekhukhune, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Indicators calculated using data collected by questionnaire included household dietary diversity score (DDS), living standards measure, months of food shortages and household food insecurity and access scale (HFIAS). Households with DDS ≤ 4 (n = 267) and DDS > 4 (n = 232) were compared using analysis of variance and χ²-test. Spearman correlation analysis was done for HFIAS and DDS. Compared to households with a DDS > 4, households with a DDS ≤ 4 had fewer assets, experienced more food shortages and had a higher HFIAS (16.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 15.0-17.0 vs. 9.8, 95% CI 8.8-10.9). An inverse correlation between HFIAS and dietary diversity (r = −0.450; p < 0.01) was observed. Therefore, dietary diversity is a promising indicator for food security.

Keywords: dietary diversity; food security; HFIAS; household food insecurity and access scale; living standard measures; stunting; living standards; South Africa; food shortages.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFSNPH.2009.026915

International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2009 Vol.2 No.1, pp.1 - 15

Published online: 08 Jul 2009 *

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