Study links poor food diversity in children to higher health costs

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A recent BMC Public Health study investigates nan consequences of debased nutrient diverseness connected children’s wellness and nan economy.

 Mohammad Bash / Study: Food diversity: its narration to children’s wellness and consequent economical burden. Image Credit: Mohammad Bash /

Exploring nan narration betwixt fare diverseness and puerility malnutrition

Millions of children nether nan property of 5 worldwide are obese aliases create vitamin aliases mineral deficiencies. In 2022, nan World Health Organization reported a important summation successful stunted maturation successful children from Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This led galore counties affiliated pinch nan World Health Assembly to subordinate nan Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) programme to trim nan stunting complaint by 2025.

Although a higher prevalence of kid malnutrition and stunted maturation were reported in Indonesia, these numbers person precocious decreased; however, this simplification has not yet reached nan WHO target of little than 20%. The deficiency of dietary diverseness was found to be the primary dietary nutrition-related problem successful processing countries. 

Developing countries importantly dangle connected cereal staple foods, pinch constricted intake of animal proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Social and economical status, taste traditions, financial allocations, nutrient choices, and practices power dietary value and diversity.

The Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) and dietary serving people (DSS) are often used to find nan value of nutrient diverseness and adequacy. Reduced dietary diverseness is associated pinch malnutrition, specified arsenic stunted growth, arsenic good arsenic an accrued consequence of processing cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and dyslipidemia. Typically, children who devour different types of nutrient person a higher nutrient intake and bully metabolism.

A caller study conducted successful West Java, Indonesia, revealed that consuming a much divers fare reduces nan consequence of malnutrition. However, different study contradicted this observation, reporting debased nutrient value and diverseness among susceptible populations successful West Java. These conflicting observations stress nan value of conducting further studies to elucidate nan effect of consuming akin nutrient types successful children.

About nan study

The existent study evaluated nan relationship betwixt nutrient diverseness and children’s health. Food diverseness was calculated based connected DDS and DSS, successful which DDS was utilized to estimate nan value of nutrient diversity, whereas DSS quantified nutrient diversity. The economical load knowledgeable by parents and governments owed to debased dietary diverseness successful children was besides estimated to amended understand nan severity of this issue.

The organization of Tasikmalaya City was considered successful nan existent study owed to nan prevalence of stunted maturation successful children supra nan provincial average. Since stunting is associated pinch children’s fare and nutrition, it has been assumed that Tasikmalaya City has debased levels of nutrient diversity.

Data connected six different nutrient groups, including meat/fish/eggs, vegetables, cereals, fruits, full grains, and milk/dairy products consumed by children wrong nan past 24 hours, were collected. Children betwixt 2 and 14 years of age were considered. Sociodemographic data, nutrient groups consumed, wellness status, and expenses incurred owed to children’s sickness successful nan past period were besides reported.

Study findings

The mean monthly income of nan households was 2.29 million rupiah. Most of the study participants lived much than 1 kilometer from a healthcare facility. 

Most children consumed 3 meals every day, and 25% of nan cohort knowledgeable wellness complaints. The study cohort comprised almost adjacent numbers of boys and girls.

Lower DDS and DSS scores were associated pinch much wellness complaints successful children. Each kid pinch debased DDS and DSS scores costs $75 USD; therefore, improved nutrient diverseness value and amount could debar these high costs.

DDS tin beryllium utilized to find nutritional adequacy, which indicates proper macro- and micronutrient depletion successful children. Greater adherence to nan repast information recommended by nan Balanced Nutrition Guidelines was associated pinch amended wellness conditions successful children.


The existent study highlights nan value of dietary diverseness for children’s health. Inadequate nutrient diverseness tin lead to sickness, which increases family healthcare costs overall.

Improving nan value and amount of dietary diverseness has been recommended to amended wellness conditions successful children. In nan future, better nutrient and nutrition-related programs must beryllium promoted to raise awareness, which tin amended wellness conditions and reduce healthcare costs.

As agriculture plays an important role successful nan Indonesian economy, improved agroecological practices, including harvest diversification, mixed crops, agroforestry, and livestock systems, could person affirmative effects on dietary diversity. 

Journal reference:

  • Hasanah, A., Kharisma, B., Remi, S. S., et al. (2024) Food diversity: its narration to children’s wellness and consequent economical burden. BMC Public Health. doi:10.1186/s12889-024-18530-w