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Measuring dietary energy deficiency and the impact of food price variations at the household level

ESA Working Paper








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    Guidelines for measuring household and individual dietary diversity 2011
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    Please note: A recent development has led to a new dietary diversity indicator, the Minimum Dietary Diversity-Women (MDD-W), to replace the Women’s Dietary Diversity Score (WDDS). However, the procedures for the assessment of Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) remain unchanged. New standalone guidelines for both the MDD-W and the HDDS are being developed and will be available soon from http://www.fao.org/food/nutr ition-assessment/en/. It is recommended to follow the new procedures and guidelines for assessing dietary diversity in any future studies.

    Obtaining detailed data on household food access or individual dietary intake can be time consuming and expensive, and requires a high level of technical skill both in data collection and analysis. Dietary diversity is a qualitative measure of food consumption that reflects household access to a variety of foods, and is also a proxy for nut rient adequacy of the diet of individuals. The dietary diversity questionnaire represents a rapid, user-friendly and easily administered low-cost assessment tool. Scoring and analysis of the information collected with the questionnaire is straightforward. The dietary diversity scores described in these guidelines consist of a simple count of food groups that a household or an individual has consumed over the preceding 24 hours. The guidelines describe the use of the dietary diversity quest ionnaire at both the household and individual level, for which calculation of the score is slightly different in each case. The data collected can also be analyzed to provide information on specific food groups of interest. The household dietary diversity score (HDDS) is meant to reflect, in a snapshot form, the economic ability of a household to access a variety of foods. Studies have shown that an increase in dietary diversity is associated with socio-economic status and household food s ecurity (household energy availability) (Hoddinot and Yohannes, 2002; Hatloy et al., 2000).
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    Methodological issues in the estimation of the prevalence of undernourishment based on dietary energy consumption data: A review and clarification 2014
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    Sukhatme had in the early 1960’s originally formulated the estimate of the proportion of undernourished in a population (PU) within a bivariate distribution framework where dietary energy consumption (DEC) and dietary energy requirement (DER) are considered as random variables. However, in the absence of data on DEC and DER of individuals expressed in the form of bivariate distribution, Sukhatme had suggested a formula that considers the part of the distribution of DEC below a cut-off point repr esenting the lower limit of the distribution of DER as an estimate of PU. However, this univariate approach has been criticised as yielding an underestimate of the magnitude of the prevalence undernourishment in a population. In response to this critic, Sukhatme has attempted to justify the approach by invoking the theory of intra-individual changes in DER. As this theory has led to a controversy rather than a clarification of the univariate approach, doubts regarding its validity still prevail. Following a review of these developments including the concept of DER, this article shows that the formulation of PU within the bivariate distribution framework is inappropriate. Subsequently, the relevance of the univariate approach is clarified. Finally, the article addresses certain issues relating to practical estimation of the prevalence measures based on household rather than individual data pertaining to DEC.
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    Household level impacts of increasing food prices in Cambodia 2010
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    There has been widespread concern regarding the surge in staple prices over the last few years and developments have been widely recognized, although to a varying degree, as one of the recent price surge and increased price volatility. Within the Asian context, food security conditions are mostly related to rice production and the price of rice. The analysis presented in this paper sheds light on the impacts of the increase in the prices of key food staples on different household groups and identifies the vulnerable segments of the population. The analysis shows that generally Cambodia gains from an increase in the price of rice although particular segments of the poor stand to lose. The analysis concludes that from a food security perspective, the price of rice should be monitored closely while considering the identified vulnerable household groups.

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