Determinants of dietary diversity among women of reproductive age in two different agro-ecological zones of Rongai Sub-County, Nakuru, Kenya
Background: Empirical evidence on the link between agro-biodiversity and dietary diversity appears to be inconclusive. Thus, arises a need to determine other factors that could significantly influence dietary diversity in different agro-ecological zones as factors may vary from region to region.
Objective: This study assessed the determinants of dietary diversity (DD) among women of reproductive age in two different agro-ecological zones of Rongai Sub-County in Kenya; with agrobiodiversity being the main independent predictor.
Design: A cross-sectional study targeting 400 women aged 18-49 years was conducted. Agro-biodiversity was measured using Shannon-Wiener index, species richness/count and production diversity score. A 24-hour dietary recall was used to determine minimum dietary diversity for women (MDD-W) of reproductive age.
Results: Although the level of agrobiodiversity was different between the low and high agro-ecological zones (using Shannon-Wiener index); the women dietary diversity was not different (P>0.05) between low (3.78 ± 0.99) and high potential areas (3.84 ± 1.05). In multivariate logistic regression, there was no association (P>0.05) between agro-biodiversity indicators and dietary diversity across the two agricultural zones. Other factors influenced dietary diversity and varied across the two agro-ecological zones. In low potential areas, women education level positively influenced dietary diversity while in high potential areas household gender, women education level, woman’s age and household size influenced MDD-W.
Conclusion: This paper informs that factors other than agrobiodiversity influenced dietary diversity among women of reproductive age and these determinants varied across the agro-ecological zones. Therefore, it is recommended that nutrition interventions focusing on lessening malnutrition and improving dietary quality should pay special attention to differences in agro-ecological zones to develop region specific interventions instead of generalized interventions.
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