Poster Topical Area: Nutritional Epidemiology

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 830

P20-162 - Associations Between Consumption of Specific Food Groups and Hemoglobin Level among Rural Ethiopian Children

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: While it is known that low dietary diversity is among the causes of low hemoglobin level in young children, evidence linking consumption of specific food groups to hemoglobin level is limited in low resource settings. The objective of this study was to examine evidence for associations between hemoglobin level, as an indicator of anemia, and consumption of specific food groups among children in rural Ethiopia, where dietary diversity is low.


Methods: Children (n=372) aged 6-36 months from poultry-producing rural households participating in the Agriculture to Nutrition (ATONU) project were included in this cross-sectional study. Food consumption over the preceding 24 hours and 7 days was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. Hemoglobin level was measured with a HemoCue machine using capillary blood. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate the associations between consumption of specific food groups and hemoglobin level in children.


Results: Child food consumption patterns over the preceding 24 hours and 7 days revealed high levels of staples (grains, roots and tubers) (86% and 89%) and low to moderate animal source foods, including meat (4% and 7%), eggs (13% and 26%) and dairy (41% and 47%). Consumption of specific food groups varied across different age groups of children. More than half (56%) of the children had low hemoglobin level (< 11g/dL). After controlling for confounders, consumption of staples in the preceding 7 days, but not 24 hours, was associated with decreased hemoglobin level (b = -0.65 g/dL [95% CI: -1.22, -0.10]). There were no significant associations between consumption of other food groups and hemoglobin level.


Conclusion: Diets based primarily on staple foods, possibly due to lack of other food sources, was associated with decreased hemoglobin levels in children.




Funding Source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

CoAuthors: Ramadhani Noor, MD – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Ramya Ambikapathi, PhD – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Nilupa Gunaratna, PhD – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Isabel Madzorera – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Simone Passarelli – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Chelsey Canavan, MSPH – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Semira Abdelmenan, MPH – Addis Continental Institute of Public Health; Hanna Berhane, MPH – Addis Continental Institute of Public Health; Yemane Berhane, MD, PhD – Addis Continental Institute of Public Health; Simbarashe Sibanda , PhD – Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network; Wafaie Fawzi, Dr.PH – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Amare W. Tadesse


Addis Continental Institute of Public Health
Addis Ababa, Adis Abeba, Ethiopia