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Open Access Household structure and dietary patterns in the Afro-Ecuadorian highlands

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Dietary patterns in contemporary societies have been a primary focus of nutritional and anthropological research. Class, occupation, income, and gender have been studied when analyzing dietary patterns and the roots of malnutrition and hunger; however, the effects of household structure have received less attention. The main purpose of our study was to obtain information on the diet of a highland Afro-Ecuadorian community and examine the relationship between household structure and dietary patterns. Survey questionnaires, in-depth questionnaires, and participant observation were utilized to examine how women in female-headed households compare with women in male-headed households in meeting the dietary needs of their families. There was no significant difference in food-acquisition patterns. Weekly expenditures for food in the two types of households were similar, despite different income levels. However, female-headed households had higher food-group scores and consumed more meals per day.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • 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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