What is it about?

Purpose: This study explored dietary diversity and nutritional status of adolescents among rural farm households in Southwestern Nigeria. It analyses if higher commercialization levels of farm households translate to better nutrition. Design/methodology/approach: The study was conducted in Ogun and Oyo States of Southwestern Nigeria, utilizing primary data from 352 farm households with a total of 160 adolescent members. The individual version of dietary diversity score (DDS) of nine (9) food groups was used to calculate adolescent DDS over a 24-h recall period, World Health Organization (WHO) AnthroPlus software was used in analyzing adolescents’ anthropometric data (height-for-age z-score and BMI-for-age z-score) while household crop commercialization index (CCI) was estimated for each farm household. Separate logit models were used to examine the drivers of adolescents’ dietary diversity and malnutrition. Findings: The study findings indicated that 100% of the adolescents consumed starchy staples while 0%, 3.1% and 12.5% consumed organ meat, milk/milk poducts, and eggs respectively. Results revealed that 74.1% and 21.2% of boys were stunted and thin while the prevalence in adolescent girls was 50.7% and 9.3% respectively. Prevalence of stunting was found to be very high (60-83%) in all the four CCI levels’ households indicating that belonging to highly commercialized households (CCI 3-4) may not necessarily translate to better nutrition of adolescent members. Food expenditure (p< 0.01) and access to piped water (p< 0.01) negatively influenced adolescents’ stunting mainly due to lower expenditure on food items and lower percent of household having access to piped water respectively while education (p< 0.01) had positive effect on adolescents’ dietary diversity. Originality/value: Previous studies have contributed to the body of knowledge concerning the link between agricultural commercialization and nutrition using under-five children of the households. However, this is the first study that investigated the influence of CCI on DDS and nutritional status of adolescent members of farm households in Nigeria. Our study fills this existing knowledge gap in investigating adolescents’ dietary diversity and malnutrition among smallholder farm households.

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Previous studies have contributed to the body of knowledge concerning the link between agricultural commercialization and nutrition using under-five children of the households. However, this is the first study that investigated the influence of CCI on DDS and nutritional status of adolescent members of farm households in Nigeria. Our study fills this existing knowledge gap in investigating adolescents’ dietary diversity and malnutrition among smallholder farm households.

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This page is a summary of: Exploring dietary diversity, nutritional status of adolescents among farm households in Nigeria: do higher commercialization levels translate to better nutrition?, Nutrition & Food Science, July 2022, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/nfs-03-2022-0104.
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