Rural and Urban Differences in Household Food Insecurity and Diet Diversity of Preschool Children (PSC) in Occidental Mindoro

  • Kim Leonard G. dela Luna
  • Ernani R. Bullecer
Keywords: household food insecurity, dietary diversity score, preschool children


Objective. Rural and urban differences affect food availability, accessibility, and sustainability; thus, it has a great
impact on household food security and dietary diversity. The relationship between the human environment and
other factors threatens different domains of food systems resulting in food security. The objective of this study is
to determine significant differences between the prevalence of household food security and diet diversity between
urban and rural communities in Occidental Mindoro. Specifically, to determine the pattern of usual food intake of
preschool children between rural and urban communities

Methods. This study utilized a comparative, cross-sectional, analytic study design in order to determine the
prevalence of each variable of interest in the two study areas. Radimer-Cornell Tool was utilized to assess the food
security status of the household while the FAO-Dietary Diversity Score Questionnaire was used to the diversity
of diet among PSC. A total of 480 (rural: n=240; urban: n=240) preschool children were recruited to participate
in this study. Ratio and proportion using the point and interval estimate were used to determine the prevalence
in different areas, meanwhile, chi-square of homogeneity was used to determine significant difference in the two
areas under study.

Results. Food insecurity in rural communities was found to be at 56.25% (95% CI: 49.97% to 62.53%) while the
prevalence in urban communities was 45.83% (95% CI: 39.53% to 52.14%). There was a significant difference
in the prevalence of household food insecurity between rural and urban communities (p=0.0224). Meanwhile,
the prevalence of less dietary diversity among preschool children in rural communities was 37.08% (95%: 30.97%
to 43.19%) and 26.25% (CI: 20.68% to 31.82%) for urban communities. There was a significant difference
in prevalence of low dietary diversity score among preschool children between rural and urban communities

Conclusion. There were significant differences in terms of household food insecurity and less diverse diet
between two community settings. Higher prevalence in rural areas signifies that there is a need to prioritize these
vulnerable communities in terms of hunger mitigation and nutrition programs. A combination of milk-rice-meat-fish
was observed in the diet of preschool children for both communities however, higher prevalence of less dietary
diversity was detected among rural communities.


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