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Exploring Spatial Variations and Determinants of Dietary Diversity Among Children in Ethiopia: Spatial and Multilevel Analysis Using EDHS (2011–2016)
Authors: Binyam Tariku Seboka, Samuel Hailegebreal, Delelegn Emwodew Yehualashet, Girma Gilano, Robel Hussen Kabthymer, Helen Ali Ewune, Abel Desalegn Demeke, Endris Seid Amede, and Getanew Aschalew Tesfa
Source: Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, Volume 14; DOI:
Topic(s): Child health
Spatial analysis
Country: Africa
Published: SEP 2021
Abstract: Introduction: Dietary diversity has a significant impact on children’s nutritional health. For developing and implementing interventions, it is critical to understand the regional distribution of dietary diversity and underlying factors. However, the application of spatial techniques in dietary studies has not been well documented. The study’s goal was to look into the regional variances and factors that influence children’s dietary diversity. Further, we have discussed the spatial correlation of dietary diversity with nutritional status. Methods: Data from the National Demographic and Health Survey were used during analyses. This work evaluated the overall dietary diversity of children aged 6– 23 months based on the 2017 WHO and UNICEF classification of minimum dietary diversity (MDD). The Local Anselin Moran’s I was estimated to look into the regional variation of dietary diversity and hotspot and cold spot areas. Further, multivariate multilevel logistic regression was used for factor analyses. Results: Overall, only 13.3% (95% CI: 10.2– 14.7%) of children in 2011 and 24% (95% CI: 15.5– 26.5%) in 2016 achieved MDD. We identified statistically significant clusters of high inadequate dietary diversity (hotspots) in the districts of northern Ethiopia, notably in the Amhara, Tigray, and Afar regions, and clusters of low inadequate dietary diversity (cold spots) in the country’s central and western regions. In both studies, the frequency of dietary diversity was significantly higher among older children, those who had media exposure, and mothers and fathers who had received formal education. Conclusion: According to our findings, the MDD of children in Ethiopia, as measured by WHO dietary assessment, slightly increased from 2011 to 2016. The dietary diversity of children was distributed non-randomly in different districts across regions of Ethiopia. Localized intervention and preventative methods to improve dietary patterns and culture can be developed using existing socio-demographic factors and districts with a larger distribution of inadequate dietary diversity.