To identify the extent to which ethnicity, poverty, education and household isolation are factors influencing nutrition related outcomes in rural Vietnam
We conducted a household survey in Son La Province, Vietnam, with a random sample of both majority (Kinh) and minority (Muong and Dao) villages. We used multivariate analysis to understand the relationship between four factors ethnicity, education, poverty and household isolation – hypothesized as influencing four nutrition associated outcomes: i) minimum acceptable diet for children aged 6-23 months; ii) household food security; iii) open defecation; and v) consumption of iron rich foods by children.
Children living in households located on a main road were more likely than those living in isolated households to be receiving a minimum acceptable diet (OR=6.33: CI 1.55, 24.94). Muong households, compared with Dao (OR=6.74: CI 1.72, 26.41) and households where the mother had completed secondary school (OR=5.02: CI 1.56-16.06) were more likely to be food secure. Children from households in the lowest wealth quintile were fifty (OR= 52.81: CI 9.37- 297.67) times as likely to practice open defecation than children from households in the highest wealth quintile. No variables were found to have a significant association with childrens consumption of iron rich foods in the past 24 hours.
These findings are important for initiatives and programs that seek to improve nutrition status of disadvantaged groups in Vietnam, and for understanding the multiple barriers that influence disadvantage and poor outcomes on a range of nutrition related indicators.