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The purpose of the present paper is to assess the relationship between food insecurity and food consumption patterns, anthropometric measures and serum micronutrient levels in rural Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out between March and May of 2005.
Rural Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
Analysis was restricted to 1014 adults aged 15–44 years with children and complete data.
A large majority of the participants (91 %) reported some kind of food insecurity. Food insecurity was significantly associated with age, marital status and occupation. Participants reporting food insecurity were significantly less likely to frequently consume animal products, fruits and vegetables compared with participants categorized as food secure. Women categorized as experiencing individual food insecurity had a larger waist circumference than food-secure women (P = 0·026) while the mean BMI of women appeared to decline if they had a child who was food insecure (P = 0·038). There were no observed differences in serum micronutrient levels by food insecurity status.
Food insecurity is highly prevalent and associated with food consumption patterns, waist circumference and BMI of women in rural Tanzania. Further studies should apply self-report measures in assessing food insecurity to larger and more diversified populations.
The objective of the present study was to assess the construct validity, criterion-related validity and internal consistency of the Radimer/Cornell food insecurity measure for use in rural Tanzania.
A cross-sectional community-based survey was conducted from March to May 2005. Key adaptations to the nine-item Radimer/Cornell items included translation to Swahili, replacing the term ‘balanced diet’ with ‘full meal’ and constructing the items as questions rather than statements. Factor analysis and Cronbach’s alpha were used to assess validity and reliability, respectively.
Rural Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
Analysis was restricted to data from 530 women aged 15–44 years who had children under 5 years old.
Principal component factor analysis revealed a two-factor solution: (1) altered eating pattern at household level and (2) altered eating pattern at child level. The two factors accounted for 66·2 % of the total variance. The subscales developed had good reliability. Internal consistency of the scales was 0·853 and 0·784 for food insecurity at household level and food insecurity at child level, respectively. Only 14·0 % of the women reported to be food-secure and 86·0 % reported some kind of food insecurity. The Radimer/Cornell food insecurity measure showed significant associations with selected sociodemographic factors in the expected directions. There was also an association with the NHANES III (Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) and CCHIP (Community Childhood Hunger Identification Project) indicators.
Our findings suggest that the adapted Radimer/Cornell measure may have some utility in assessing food insecurity in settings like rural Tanzania.
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