Energy and protein accessibility at the household level in Jamaica: results from a national survey

Type Journal Article - West Indian med. j
Title Energy and protein accessibility at the household level in Jamaica: results from a national survey
Volume 42
Issue Suppl. 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1993
Page numbers 42
Patterns of food consumption in Jamaica are of interest not only because of the increase in the food prices relative to the national minimum wage but also because the increased mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases in Jamaica may be related to dietary intakes. Data on household food expenditure were collected in the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions and these were used to determine household energy and protein accessibility. The survey comprised a national representative sample of 3,861 households. The mean per capita daily energy and protein accessibility levels were 2,170 calories and 64 gm, respectively. This can be compared to reference requirements of 2,250 calories and 43 gm protein. The sample was divided into quintiles of total consumption with the top comprising the richest 20 per cent of the sample and the bottom quintile the poorest 20 per cent. The mean accessibility levels from the poorest quintiles were 909 calories and 24 gm protein while those of richest were 3,356 calories and 102 gm protein. The deficit in energy and protein in the poorest individuals may not be as dramatic as these figures indicate. The total energy and protein accessibility levels do not include meals consumed outside of the home, whether these were bought or received as gifts or as wages. This source of nutrients may be important to this group. In addition, the poorest households have more children which will decrease their per capita nutrient received. However, the indication is that the poorest individuals may be having intakes below those required. This would not only result in poor development of children but also may affect productivity levels in adults and hence national development (AU)

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