Hidden hunger or knowledge hunger? Nutritional knowledge, diet diversity and micronutrient intake in Rwanda: The case of Vitamin A

The problem of hidden hunger has emerged as one of the major development issues alongside food security. This problem highlights the likelihood of households having access to inadequate amount of key micronutrients in a diet despite having access to adequate quantities of food. , This paper uses a recent detailed household consumption data to investigate households’ nutritional knowledge, the diversity of diets consumed, and the micronutrient uptake, focusing specifically on Vitamin A. The study finds high knowledge of Vitamin A but low understanding of the function of Vitamin A in human bodies. We find a disconnect between the knowledge of Vitamin A and diets consumed by the respondents. Further, the use of diet diversity scores (DDS) reveal a narrow range of foods consumed, with children age 6-23 months most affected. However, the predictions from DDS stand in stark contrast with actual consumption of Vitamin A rich foods. The study concludes that there is high awareness of Vitamin A and Vitamin A-rich foods among rural households although this knowledge does not directly translate into consumption Vitamin A rich foods. The study also concludes that care needs to be taken in using different measures of diet diversity to proxy micronutrient uptake. It discusses policy recommendations of these findings.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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