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Exploring rural adolescents’ dietary diversity, ultra-processed food consumption, and relevant socio-economic correlates: a cross-sectional study from Matlab, Bangladesh
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH). (International Child Health and Nutrition)
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Bangladesh is home to 36 million adolescents with the majority living in rural areas. Adolescence presents an additional window of opportunity to correct nutritional deficits among rural Bangladeshi adolescents. A high-quality, diverse diet is pivotal in this regard. Ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption is an emergent threat to public health. This study aimed to explore dietary diversity (DD) and UPF consumption in terms of gender and socio-economic stratification among rural adolescents in Matlab, Bangladesh.

Methods: Adopting cross-sectional design 1441 adolescents were surveyed. Dietary diversity score and ultra-processed food consumption score (UFCS) were constructed through 24-hour recalls. Means and consumption proportions were compared across gender and socio-economic strata. Binary and ordinal logistic regression models were fitted to isolate socio-demographic variables associated with inadequate DD and higher UFCS respectively.

Results: 43% of the adolescents had inadequate DD. Pro-boy gap in DD was evident, so was heavy reliance on rice and scant consumption of nutrient-rich foods. UPF consumption was low. Belonging to the richest and to food secure households were associated with lower odds of inadequate DD. Girls were more likely to have inadequate DD but less likely to have higher UFCS. Gender modified the effect of socio-economic status on UPF consumption.

Conclusions: The diet of adolescents in Matlab lacked diversity, putting them at significant risk of nutritional deficiencies. Improving their DD requires pragmatic policies and tailored programs to tackle affordability and food insecurity issues, address social norms and intra-household dynamics that favor boys, and sensitize the adolescents to importance of consuming diverse diet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 73
Keywords [en]
Dietary diversity, Rural adolescents, Adolescent nutrition, Ultra-processed food, LMIC, Nutrition
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-387328OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-387328DiVA, id: diva2:1335696
Educational program
Master Programme in Global health
Supervisors
Examiners
Projects
15-year Follow-up of MINIMat TrialAvailable from: 2019-09-16 Created: 2019-07-06 Last updated: 2019-09-16Bibliographically approved

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International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH)
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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