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Fish is the most important animal-source food (ASF) in Bangladesh, produced from capture fisheries (non-farmed) and aquaculture (farmed) sub-sectors. Large differences in micronutrient content of fish species from these sub-sectors exist. The importance of fish in diets of vulnerable groups compared with other ASF; contribution from non-farmed and farmed species to nutrient intakes; and differences in fish consumption among age, gender, wealth groups and geographic regions were analysed, using quantitative intra-household fish consumption data, focusing on the first 1000 d of life.
Two-stage stratified sample.
Nationally representative of rural Bangladesh.
Households (n 5503) and individuals (n 24 198).
Fish consumption in poor households was almost half that in wealthiest households; and lower in females than males in all groups, except the wealthiest, and for those aged ≥15 years (P<0·01). In infants of complementary feeding age, 56 % did not consume ASF on the survey day, despite 78 % of mothers knowing this was recommended. Non-farmed fish made a larger contribution to Fe, Zn, Ca, vitamin A and vitamin B12 intakes than farmed fish (P<0·0001).
Policies and programmes aimed to increase fish consumption as a means to improve nutrition in rural Bangladesh should focus on women and young children, and on the poorest households. Aquaculture plays an important role in increasing availability and affordability of fish; however, non-farmed fish species are better placed to contribute to greater micronutrient intakes. This presents an opportunity for aquaculture to contribute to improved nutrition, utilising diverse production technologies and fish species, including small fish.
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