Factors Influencing Nutritional Adequacy among Rural Households in Nigeria: How Does Dietary Diversity Stand among Influencers?
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This study examined the influence of food consumption diversity on adequate intakes of food calories, proteins and micronutrients among households in rural Nigeria within the framework of panel data econometrics using a nationally representative data. We found that substantial proportion of households suffered deficiency of calories, proteins and certain micronutrients; with higher percentage of sufferer households occurring in the post-planting season. The different measures of dietary diversity (constructed and used for analysis) consistently indicate significant and positive influence of dietary diversity on the likelihood of adequate consumption of food nutrients. While higher level of income, education and non-farm enterprise engagement may strongly stimulate adequate nutrient intakes, increases in the number of adolescents would substantially diminish it. Although our findings call for renewed attention on diet diverseness, we stress the complementary/synergistic roles of education and rural income improvement, especially through non-farm enterprise diversification in tackling multiple nutritional deficiencies in rural Nigeria.
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