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Publication | 2024

Drivers of child and women dietary diversity: Empirical evidence from a peri-urban area of Bangladesh

Dietary diversity (DD) is considered an indicator of micronutrient adequacy for all age groups. An unbalanced diet that contains only one or two nutrient components can be fatal. Given that women make up half of our population and that children are a country's future, it is crucial to maintain the nutritional status of both groups. Thus, the current study was designed to analyze the factors affecting the dietary diversity of both children and women of the residents living in a manufacturing industry-dominated growing peri-urban area of Bangladesh, where an institutional huge vacuum exists, mainly due to administrative transition. We randomly selected 146 mothers who had at least one child between the ages of 6 and 59 months to participate in our data collection. To identify the factors that influence children's and women's dietary diversity, multinomial and binary logistic regression models were used, respectively. Results unearthed that the age of the children, maternal age, and maternal education significantly affect children's dietary diversity, while the mother's education level, as well as their access to and control over resources affect their own dietary diversity. The study concludes that education has multiple effects on women's and children's dietary diversity as it can help mothers to make decisions about how the distribution of time and resources should be prioritized. Again, greater access to and control over resources may enable mothers to take care of any urgent needs for their children. For a sustainable solution, the policy level needs to keep its eyes on the girls' quality education as potential future mothers.