Dietary diversity and associated factors among lactating mothers in Debre Tabor General Hospital, Northcentral Ethiopia

Melaku Tadege Engidaw, Alemayehu Digssie Gebremariam, Sofonyas Abebaw Tiruneh, Desalegn Tesfa Asnakew, Bedilu Abebe Abate


Background: Dietary diversity score indicates that the intake of general nutritional adequacy. Low dietary diversity is a major problem among poor populations in the developing world due to consumption of monotonous staple diet consumption. Therefore, it has various consequences on the health and wellbeing of the family, communities, and nation at large. Overall, there are limited studies on this major issue and its contributing factors among lactating mothers.

Methods: Institution based cross-sectional study was employed among 419 participants who were selected by using a systematic sampling method. The data were collected using a pretested structured questionnaire. The collected data were checked for completeness, cleaned, coded and entered into EPI info version 7 and exported into SPSS version 20.0 software for further analysis. The degree of association between dependent and independent variables were assessed by using odds ratio with a 95% of confidence interval and variables with p≤0.05 were considered significant after fitting into logistic regression.  

Results: The average dietary diversity score±SD was 4.94±0.76. The magnitude of low dietary diversity score was 25% (95% CI: 22.1, 30.4). Women’s, being government employer and having meal 2 times per day were the factors associated with low dietary diversity score among lactating mothers.

Conclusions: One-fourth of the lactating women were had poor dietary diversity and age of the women, meal frequency, and respondent occupation were the determinant factors. So, appropriate counseling during maternal care are very important to halt this problem.


Dietary diversity score, Lactating women, Ethiopia

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