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Br J Nutr. 2006 Mar;95(3):555-67.

Monitoring food and nutrient availability in a nationally representative sample of Bolivian households.

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  • 1Nutrition Unit, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. aperezcueto@ith.be


The study objective was to estimate food and nutrient availability in Bolivian households using data from the nationally representative under the Programme for the household surveys undertaken yearly from 1999 to 2002 Improvement of Surveys and the Measurement of Living Conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean (MECOVI). In the present study, we analysed data from four repeated, cross-sectional surveys and applied European Data Food Networking (DAFNE) methodology for post-harmonising the data. Raw data of 19 483 households in Bolivia (3035 in 1999, 4857 in 2000, 5845 in 2001 and 5746 in 2002) were retrieved from the databases of the national household surveys. Results showed that the Bolivian diet is characterised by higher availability of foods of plant origin (cereals, fruits, potatoes and vegetables). Meat, milk and their products follow in the dietary preferences of Bolivians. Disparities in food availability within the country were also observed. Rural households systematically recorded lower amounts of food available, in comparison with the urban ones. Households of higher social status recorded higher availability values for all food groups, except for potatoes and cereals. Findings suggest that Bolivian households of lower socio-economic status prefer energy-dense and cheaper food sources. We concluded the dietary and socio-demographic data collected in the MECOVI household surveys could serve nutrition surveillance purposes. In addition, the application of DAFNE methodology for post-harmonising the data allows both national and international comparisons.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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