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Open Access Ecuadorian Andean women's nutrition varies with age and socioeconomic status

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Abstract:

An agricultural project in Highland Ecuador provided a model context to better understand the nutrition of rural women. The adequacy of women's nutrition and the strength of associations with age and socioeconomic status were studied in 104 rural households over four rounds (two seasons) during the 1995–1996 agricultural year using a cross-sectional with repeated-measures design. Women were at high risk for micronutrient deficiencies (calcium, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B12) due to low intakes of animal products. Two distinct constructs representing socioeconomic status were identified: modern lifestyle and farming wealth. In multivariate models, farming wealth was associated with quality of women's diet (animal protein adjusted for energy, p = 0.01). Diet quality, in turn, was positively associated with anthropometric status (p = 0.02). Women over the age of 50 weighed approximately 3.7 kg less than younger women and consumed less energy (300 kcal) and micronutrients (p < 0.05). Age was positively associated with respiratory morbidity (p = 0.01). These findings, while directly relevant to a specific context, suggest the need for cross-cultural studies to identify the extent of, and factors contributing to, the risk of nutritional inadequacy in postreproductive women in developing countries.

Keywords: ANDEAN; ECUADOR; MICRONUTRIENTS; NUTRITION; SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS; WOMEN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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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