Lack of food diversity is one of the major barrier for ensuring optimal growth and development of children under five years of age. Dietary diversity score (DDS) is a proxy indicator for measuring food diversity. We therefore, aim to identify the current pattern of DDS and their socio-demographic determinants in rural Bangladesh.
We used data from a cross-sectional survey conducted in Mymensingh and Rajshahi regions of Bangladesh between July to October 2014. The survey covered 7039 children under-five years of age. We have collected data for last 24 hours food intake of under five children. We categorised the food groups into 7 and DDS was generated into an ordinal fashion with a minimum score of 0 to maximum 7. Our analysis includes descriptive analysis and multivariable ordinal logistic regressions.
Overall, the highest percentage of under-five children obtain a DDS score of 4 (27%)followed by 3 (23%) and 5 (18%) . Multi variable analysis revealed that children having mothers with 6 or more years of education [OR 1.38(P<0.05)] , mothers involved in skilled work [OR 1.81 (P<0.000)], fathers having similar educational attainment [OR 1.22 (P<0.005)], belonging to higher wealth quintile [OR 1.15(P<0.05); ); OR 1.23(P<0.005)OR 1.26(P<0.005); OR 1.98(P<0.000) for middle, fourth and highest quintile respectively], and having household food security [OR 1.25 (P<0.000)] were found to be associated with higher DDS. Children who suffered from an illness in two weeks preceding the survey [OR 0.81 (P<0.000)] were significantly associated with getting lower DDS.
Household food security, economic status and parents educational attainment along with reduction of childhood illnesses can significantly improve dietary diversity and thereby reduce under nutrition among under five children.