How diverse is the diet of adult South Africans?
Steyn, Nelia Patricia
Abstract. Background. The objective of the current study was to measure dietary diversity in South Africans aged 16 years and older from all population groups as a proxy of food security. Methods. A cross-sectional study representative of adults from all specified ages, provinces, geographic localities, and socio-economic strata in South Africa was used (n = 3287). Trained interviewers visited participants at their homes during the survey. Dietary data was collected by means of a face validated 24 hour recall which was not quantified. A dietary diversity score (DDS) was calculated by counting each of 9 food groups. A DDS <4 was regarded as reflecting poor dietary diversity and poor food security. Results The provinces with the highest prevalence of poor dietary diversity (DDS <4) were Limpopo (61.8%) and the Eastern Cape (59.6%). By contrast, only 15.7% of participants in Western Cape had a low score. Participants in tribal areas (63.9%) and informal urban areas (55.7%) were by far the worst affected. There were significant differences in DDS by Living Standards Mean (LSM) analysis (p < 0.05) with the lowest LSM group having the lowest mean DDS (2.93).The most commonly consumed food groups were cereals/roots; meat/fish; dairy and vegetables other than vitamin A rich. Eggs, legumes, and vitamin A rich fruit and vegetables were the least consumed. Conclusion. Overall the majority of South Africans consumed a diet low in dietary variety. The tribal areas and informal urban areas were worst affected and eggs, legumes and vitamin A rich fruit and vegetables, were the least consumed.
The original publication is available at http://www.nutritionj.com/content/10/1/33
Food habikts -- South Africa, Nutrition -- South Africa, Dietary diversity -- South Africa, Food security -- South Africa
Labadarios, D, Steyn, NP & Nel, J 2011, 'How diverse is the diet of adult South Africans?', Nutrition Journal, 10(1):33.