Tomas Benti TeferaMadda Walabu University, Ethiopia
Title: Optimal Dietary Diversity and its Associated Factors among Children Aged 6–23 Months in Bale Zone, Southeast Ethiopia: aCommunity Based Cross-Sectional Study
Background: Almost all nutritional related problems are preventable by implementing infant and child feeding strategies. The first two years of life are particularly important to reverse the nutritional problems by achieving dietary diversity feeding. This study assessed optimum dietary diversity and its associated factors among 6–23 months old children in Robe town, southeast Ethiopia.
Methods: Community based cross sectional study design with simple random sampling was employed to include 517 children 6-23 months of age paired with their mothers in Robe town. Data were collected using pre-tested and structured questionnaire. Data were entered into EpiData version 3.1 and analysis was performed using SPSS version 20. Descriptive analysis was done for appropriate variables. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with optimal dietary diversity practices among children aged 6-23 months.
Results: Five hundred eight samples were included in the analysis making response rate of 98%. The optimal dietary diversity practice in the study area was 23%. The dominant food groups consumed by children aged 6-23 months in the study area were Grain, roots and tubers and Dairy products. Exposure to media (AOR=3.99, 95 % CI, 1.97:7.77), secondary and above maternal education (AOR=3.21, 95% CI, 1.05:9.85), and maternal knowledge about diet diversification (AOR=8.5, 95% CI, 4.95:14.58) were found positive significant predictors of optimal dietary diversity practice in the study area.
Conclusion: This study concluded that optimum dietary diversity among children aged 6–23 months in the study area is low. Exposure to media and maternal education, maternal knowledge on dietary diversification were found as positive predictors of optimal dietary diversity practice for the children aged 6-23 months. So, inclusion of child nutrition programs different mass medias in the country and encouraging women education would contribute for better dietary diversity of these children.
Keywords: Children aged 6-23 months; Dietary diversity; Nutrition; Southeast Ethiopia