Open Access Home gardening and access to animals in households with xerophthalmic children in rural Nepal

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This case–control study compares the home garden and animal husbandry practices of households with and without xerophthalmic children in south-central Nepal, focusing on the relationship between these practices and household intake of vitamin A–rich foods. Eighty-one households with a child between the ages of one and six years diagnosed with xerophthalmia (cases) and 81 households with an age-matched, non-xerophthalmic child (controls) were studied. There was little difference between case and control households in the size of their gardens. However, case households were significantly less likely to plant carotenoid-rich vegetables from October to March than were control households (odds ratio, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.16 to 0.96). The mean consumption of non-carotenoid-rich vegetables, but not of carotenoid-rich vegetables, increased linearly with garden size. Case households were significantly more likely than control households to rent domesticated animals from others (χ2 = 5.91; p < .05). Control households were more likely than case households to own chickens and pigeons (χ2 = 6.6–9.2; p < .05). During specific seasons, household meat consumption was significantly lower in case households, regardless of access to animals. Case households appeared to have significantly lower intakes of key vitamin A–rich foods, particularly green leaves and meat, regardless of their socio-economic level (as determined by ownership of material goods), access to animals, or availability of home gardens.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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