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Examining Nutritional Adequacy and Dietary Diversity Among Women in Niger


Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the nutritional adequacy and dietary composition among women residing in Zinder and Maradi of Niger, and the factors that affect the variety of their dietary intake. Methods Data from 3360 women of ages 15–49 were used in the analysis. The variable of interest was the Women Dietary Diversity Score (WDDS), which is the simple sum of scores of the 9 categorized food groups, ranging from 0 to 9. Lower values for WDDS indicate nutritionally inadequate dietary diversity. Analysis included descriptive, Mann–Whitney U test and linear regression. Results The majority of the participants were residing in the Maradi Region (56.7%) and were living in households with both male and female adults (94.9%). The mean WDDS was 3.5 in Zinder compared to 2.5 in Maradi (p < .05). The most frequently consumed food items in both Zinder and Maradi were starchy staple food (98.3%). Region of residence was one of the strong predictor of WDDS. A total number of farmers in the household and Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) had positive and significant effects on WDDS whereas Household Hunger Scale (HHS) had a negative and significant effect on WDDS. Conclusion Niger has one of the highest concentrations of malnutrition in the world. In 2012, approximately 2.5 million Nigeriens were affected by malnutrition. Our study results reinforce the importance to conduct more studies that examine the nutritional intake of women in Niger.

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  1. 1.

    An individual with a BMI index of less than 18.5 kg/m2 is considered to suffer from chronic energy deficiency (DHS).

  2. 2.

    Baseline Study for the Title II Development Food Assistance Programs in Niger.

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    Kantche-Bandawa, Kantche-Douache, Mirriah-Diney Haoussa, Mirriah-Fortoro Bougage.

  4. 4.

    Guidan Roumdji-Guidan Sori, Guidan Roumdji-Tounkourma, Aguie-Naki Karfi, Aguie-Chakpe, Mayahi-Jan Toudou, Mayahi-Zongo Yardi, Dakoro-Dan Goubli, Dakoro-Magajin Kori.

  5. 5.

    Eligible farmers are either male or female farmers within the household who have ownership or decision-making power over all plots of land and/or livestock that are part of the farm.

  6. 6.

    Based on Baseline Study for the Title II Development Food Assistance Programs in Niger “co-owned is defined as joint property ownership of the house. Free Authorized is defined as dwelling being used for free with permission by owner. Free Unauthorized is defines as dwelling being used however no permission or authorization was provided”.


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The authors wish to acknowledge the Trandisciplinary Center for Health Equity Research at Texas A and M University for providing the space to conduct this research.

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Correspondence to Nafissatou Cisse-Egbuonye.

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Cisse-Egbuonye, N., Ishdorj, A., McKyer, E.L.J. et al. Examining Nutritional Adequacy and Dietary Diversity Among Women in Niger. Matern Child Health J 21, 1408–1416 (2017).

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  • Malnutrition
  • Nutrition
  • Rural
  • Women
  • Niger