Food Security and Dietary Quality in African Slums
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16580
More than half of Africa’s urban population lives in slums. Little is known about their nutritional situation, as slums are often underrepresented in standard surveys. This study analyzes issues of food security and dietary quality in East African slums using household-level and individual-level data collected in Nairobi and Kampala. The household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS) is used as a subjective measure of food security. Moreover, calorie availability and different dietary diversity scores are calculated based on 7-day food consumption recalls at the household level and 24-hour dietary recalls at the individual level. The large majority of the slum households are food insecure and suffer from low dietary quality. Rates of undernourishment are considerably higher than what country-level statistics report, suggesting that slum dwellers deserve more explicit attention in initiatives to improve nutrition. Household-level indicators are significantly correlated with individual-level indicators for women and children. This means that household-level data, which are easier to collect, can proxy for individual nutrition up to a certain extent when individual-level data are unavailable. Regression models show that household income is one of the main factors explaining dietary patterns. Hence, facilitating access to lucrative employment is an important entry point for improving nutrition in slums.