Dietary intake and nutritional status are poor among adolescent girls in Ethiopia

Abstract Number Theme Presentation Type Cover Approved
0232 Prevalence and risk factors for micronutrient status(deficiency, overload) Poster Approved


Abstract Content


To examine dietary intakes and nutritional status of adolescent girls (15-19 years) in Ethiopia


Based on probability proportion to size, 2011 Ethiopian national food consumption survey data (single 24 hour dietary recall) were nationally representative for women 15-45 years with duplicate height and weight measured by trained and standardized enumerators. Nutrient intakes, dietary diversity score (DDS) and Body-Mass-Index for age (BMI-for-age) were analyzed in subsample of 494 adolescent girls (15-19 years)


Adolescent girl’s median nutrient intakes were below estimated average requirement (EAR) for calcium, zinc, vitamin A, and protein; iron and carbohydrate intakes were above the EAR. Mean DDS was 1.87 (4 is minimum proposed by Food and Agriculture Organization). Prevalence of adolescent stunting was 12.6% in urban and 12.8% in rural areas (difference not significant); 5.7% of adolescents in rural areas were thin (BMI-for-age < -2 SD), compared to 3.8% in urban areas (p<0.05) while more girls were overweight (BMI-for-age > 2 SD) in urban (8.8%) than rural (1.9%) areas.


These findings suggest that adolescent girls in Ethiopia have poor nutritional status and poor quality diets, confirmed by low dietary adequacy for protein, calcium, zinc and vitamin A, and a low overall dietary diversity. Interventions are needed to improve the diets of adolescent girls along with interventions for children and adult women.

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