Assessment of Dietary Diversity and Vitamin A-Rich Foods Consumption of Pre-School Children in Rural Community in Burkina Faso, an Impact Study Approach

Research Article

Austin J Nutri Food Sci. 2017; 5(1): 1087.

Assessment of Dietary Diversity and Vitamin A-Rich Foods Consumption of Pre-School Children in Rural Community in Burkina Faso, an Impact Study Approach

Zongo U¹*, Zoungrana SL², Savadogo A¹, Thiombiano-Coulibaly N¹,³ and Traoré AS¹

¹Center for Research in Biological, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University Ouaga 1 Pr Joseph KI-ZERBO, Burkina Faso

²Departement of Gastroenterology, Regional University Hospital Center, Burkina Faso

³Department of Nutrition, Healthministry, Burkina Faso

*Corresponding author: Zongo U, Center for Research in Biological, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University Ouaga 1 Pr Joseph KI-ZERBO, Burkina Faso

Received: June 20, 2017; Accepted: July 13, 2017; Published: July 20, 2017


Micronutrient deficiencies especially in vitamin A and low dietary diversity remain a concern in developing countries. This study, based on an anthropological and nutritional approach, was designed to evaluate the diversity and variety of foods in relation to the nutritional status of children in rural areas. 24-hour recalls were conducted with the parents or caregivers of 121 children aged 12-59 months, randomly selected from about 150 households. An average DDA of 3.11 ± 1.04 (ranked from 0 to 6), compared with an average food variety score of 3.70 ± 1.52 were found. The majority of children (70.8%) consumed less than three food groups in the 24 hours prior to the interview. Extensive descriptive analysis showed that 96.6% of preschoolers consumed cereals and tubers, 92.1% consumed vegetables, followed by legumes and nuts (36%). The least consumed foods were fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A (13.5%), meat (7.9%) fish (7.9%) and eggs (1.1%). A positive and significant correlation between DDS and FVS (r = 0.789; p <0.0001) was obtained. The study did not establish a statistically significant correlation between DDS and nutritional status (p = 0.5). The dietary profile results showed that three major foods make up the bulk of the daily diet of preschool children in the area, namely to porridge and rice.

In sum, the study assessed dietary diversity and food profile regarding nutritional status of pre-school children in rural community, in Burkina Faso highly affected by a high prevalence of malnutrition.

Keywords: Dietary diversity; Food profile; (pro) vitamin A food; Nutritional status


DD: Dietary Diversity; FV: Food Variety; FVS: Food Variety Score; DDS: Dietary Diversity Score; WHO: World Health Organization; MDD: Minimum Dietary Diversity; WAZ: Weight for Age Z-Scores; HAZ: Height-for-Age Z-Scores; WHZ: Weight-for-Height Z-Scores; ENA: Emergency Nutrition Assessment


Nutrient deficiency, and more particularly micronutrients such as vitamin A, remains a public health problem in developing countries including Burkina Faso. In Africa in general and Burkina Faso in particular, many children are affected by malnutrition or micronutrient deficiencies, or even several forms simultaneously in the early years of their life. According to the national nutrition survey in Burkina Faso, 64.7% of children under two years of age received complementary food in a timely manner (6-8 months), only 17.4% of children between 6 and 23 Months have a diversified diet and 13.4% have a minimum acceptable diet [1]. Harmonious development essentially requires a diversified and available diet. Food diversity is a qualitative measure of food consumption, reflecting the variety of foods that households have access to; it constitutes at the individual level, an approximate measure of the nutritional adequacy of the diet. The individual dietary diversity score aims to evaluate the nutritional adequacy of the diet. These scores were correlated positively with the adequacy of the micronutrient density of complementary foods in infants and young children [2], and with the adequacy of macronutrient and micronutrient intakes of non-infants [3] adolescents [4] and adults. Food approaches are a promising and sustainable way to reduce micronutrient deficiencies efficiently and sustainably, but also vitamin A deficiency. To better understanding the trend, and satisfactory results, we took into account socio-cultural factors, current food practices and knowledge, but also specific constraints on food availability, all of which inhibit food diversification and consumption of vitamin A-rich foods.


Study design and data collection

The study focused on an anthropological and nutritional approach. It was carried out at the end of the dry season (May-June). Data were collected in two stages. First, data on the availability of foods (rich in vitamin A) were collected from households, market visits using interview techniques, focus groups (mothers of preschool children) or individually interview (mothers, health workers) and free listing. The second step was based on the collection of information on household food consumption and pre-school children’s foodv consumption, socio-economic characteristics of households and anthropometric measurements.

Data on children’s feeding patterns were collected over a threeday period via the 24-hour recall. All households were visited and informed consent was obtained prior to enrollment in the study. Three types of participants were included in the study. These include resource persons, mothers of children, as well as selected pre-school children.

Study area and subjects

The study was carried out in rural areas in the municipality of Gaongo, a Department located in the South Central Burkina Faso according to the administrative division.

The population study included children aged twelve to fifty nine months and their caregivers. This was targeted because of their vulnerability and this stage of development is considered to be the most critical with respect to mortality and nutrient deficiencies [5]. A total of 150 households were selected and 121 children from these households were randomly selected. The mother-child pairs were considered in the survey. The sample size is considered satisfactory to describe the child’s feeding pattern. This sample size is considered adequate for generating valid data because of higth concordance in food culture [6].

Dietary diversity and food variety score

24-hour recalls were conducted with each child mothers or caregivers by trained interviewers inside the households of each participant. The 24-hour period requires less effort from respondents and is also the recall period used in many dietary diversity studies [3,5].

Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) and Food Variety Score (FVS) were calculated from the 24-hour recall using World Health Organization (WHO) country-specific adaptation guidance [2,7]. Dietary diversity indicator is the sum of scores in the six food groups and is there fore ranged from 0-6. The Minimum Dietary diversity (MDD) indicator is calculated based on consumption of at least four of the following six food groups as recommended by WHO and included: (1) starchy foods (cereals, roots and tubers), (2) legumes and nuts, (3) dairy products (milk, yogurt and Cheese), (4) Eggs, meat, fish, poultry and offal), (5) vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables; and (6) other fruits and vegetables [8].

Response options were marked and one point (1) was assigned if the food was consumed and zero points (0) if food not consumed [6]. The dietary diversity indicator was the sum of the scores of the six food groups from 0 to 6. The food variety was calculated as the number of foods items consumed over a 24-hour period [9,10]. Minimum Dietary Diversity (MDD) is calculated on the basis of a consumption of at least four of the six food groups. Consumption = 3 food groups was considered to be low dietary diversity, while 4 groups of foods considered as minimum dietary diversity and = 5 food groups such as high dietary diversity [8].

Anthropometric measurements

The age of child was determined from the birth certificate or health record; in the absence of these, a calendar of local events was used to determine the age of the child as accurately as possible. Anthropometric measurements including the size and weight of each child were determined using standardized techniques [11,12]. These anthropometric parameters were compared with age and used to determine the nutritional status of children.

Statistical analysis

IBM® SPSS® 24.0 statistical analysis software was used to perform all analyzes. Epi info and ENA were used to calculate the nutritional indices, which were interpreted according to the reference [13]. Regression analyzes were performed to establish correlations between nutritional indices and Dietary Diversity (DD) and Food Variety (FV).


Food profile

Food profile was evaluated from the 24h recall in three passages (three days). (Figure 1) shows the food profile of preschool children in rural Burkina Faso.