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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Food and nutrition bulletin
Title Dietary patterns and nutritional health of women: the nutrition transition in rural Tanzania
Volume 32
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 218-226
URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/156482651103200306
Background. Many developing countries are experiencing
a rapid nutrition transition in urban areas.
Objective. To investigate whether a nutrition transition
was occurring in a rural area by examining the
dietary patterns of women in rural Tanzania.
Methods. A total of 252 women aged 16 to 45 years
from three districts of northeastern and central Tanzania
participated. During three different seasons in
2006–2007, the women were interviewed with the use
of a structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire,
including a 24-hour dietary recall. From these recalls, the
mean intakes of 12 main food groups were calculated and
used to establish five dietary patterns by principal component
analysis. Data were also obtained on attitudes
toward obesity, body mass index (BMI), hemoglobin
level, and measures of socioeconomic status and analyzed
for associations with dietary patterns.
Results. The five dietary patterns were “traditionalcoast,”
characterized by fruits, nuts, starchy plants, and
fish; “traditional-inland,” characterized by cereals, oils
and fats, and vegetables; “purchase,” characterized by
bread and cakes (usually fried in oil), sugar, and black
tea; “pulses,” characterized mainly by pulses, with few or
no vegetables; and “animal products,” characterized by a
high consumption of meat, eggs, and/or milk. Significant
positive associations were found, among others, between
the purchase pattern and BMI (ρ = 0.192, p = .005)
and between the animal products pattern and wealth
(ρ = 0.168, p = .002).
Conclusions. Differences between traditional and
modern nutritional food patterns were evident. This
study found the“traditional-inland” pattern to be the
most healthy, while the “purchase” food pattern was the
most prevalent. The purchase pattern, in particular,
may provide some evidence for early stages of the nutrition
transition in rural Tanzania.

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