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Tropentag 2020, September 9 - 11, virtual conference, Germany

"Food and nutrition security and its resilience to global crises"

How Did Diets in Urban and Rural Uganda Develop Over Time?

Vincent Linderhof1, Nina Motovska1, Valerie Janssen1, Andrea Fongar2, Beatrice Ekesa2

1Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen Economic Research, The Netherlands
2The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, Uganda


In 2010, FAO concluded that the main components of the Ugandan diet were root and tubers (cassava, sweet potatoes and cooking banana) and cereals (maize, millet, sorghum). Pulses, nuts and green leafy vegetables complement the diet. Overall, diets were poor in micronutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and fish. In urban areas, FAO found that food consumption patterns are changing, and rice is gaining importance. In this study, we analysed food security in urban and rural Uganda in the period after 2010. We used household food consumption information from 4 household surveys conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) in collaboration with the World Bank Living Standard Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) namely 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2013-2014, and 2015-2016. Food security indicators were the share of households consuming food product from food groups, and the household dietary diversity score (HDDS), where we distinguished 12 food groups: i) cereals; ii) root and tubers iii) vegetables; iv) fruit; v) beans and ground nuts; vi) meat; vii) fish; viii) eggs; ix) dairy products; x) sweets; xi) beverages; and xii) condiments cereals, starches and roots ,amongst others. The preliminary results show that high share of households consume starches and roots as well as cereals. This holds for rural and urban households. The food groups eggs, dairy products, fruits, meat and fish were consumed by less than 50 percent of the households in rural and urban settings in all surveys. The share of households eating fruits (nutrient-rich food) and meat increased over the years with a peak consumption in 2013/14. The share of households eating fish and dairy products remained constant over time. Dietary diversity increased between 2010 and 2014, where the HDDS was slightly higher for urban population. Based on our results, we conclude that diets of urban and rural people in Uganda have not changed much since 2010. However, more research is necessary to analyse the nutritional aspects of the dietary transition in more detail.

Keywords: Food security, Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), LSMS-ISA, Uganda

Contact Address: Vincent Linderhof, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen Economic Research, Prinses Beatrixlaan 582, 2595 BM The Hague, The Netherlands, e-mail: vincent.linderhof@wur.nl

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