Determinants and constraints to household-level animal source food consumption in rural communities of Ethiopia

Alemneh Kabeta Daba, Mary Murimi, Kebede Abegaz, Dejene Hailu

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Animal source foods (ASF) contain quality nutrients important for growth, development, immunity and behavioural outcomes. Plant-based foods also provide the nutrients, but with lower bioavailability than ASF. Evidence on household-level ASF consumption frequency, constraints and determinants are limited for Ethiopia. Therefore, the present study aimed to assess the consumption frequency of ASF and to identify determinants and constraints among rural households in Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 422 households. The consumption frequency of ASF was assessed using a food frequency screener over 30 days. Twelve statements with Likert scale responses were used to identify constraints to ASF consumption. Ordinal logistic regression was used to identify determinants of ASF consumption. About a quarter (26 %) of the households consumed milk one to two times per week. One out of five households consumed eggs one to two times per week (20 %) or one to two times per month (19 %). Poultry and meat were never consumed by 92 and 60 % of the households, respectively. Unavailability, unaffordability, consumption tradition and income generation priority were constraints identified. Food insecurity, livestock ownership, income, family size and women's education were associated (P < 0⋅05) with selected ASF consumption. Rural households in Ethiopia did not consume ASF on regular basis. Poor socio-demographic and economic conditions as determined by food insecurity, property ownership, income, educational achievement, family size and ASF unavailability and unaffordability contributed to the lower consumption frequency of ASF by households in rural Ethiopia. Nutrition policies and programmes should focus on nutrition-sensitive agricultural extension, livelihood improvement and women empowerment interventions integrated with nutrition education to improve ASF consumption in rural settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e58
JournalJournal of nutritional science
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • AOR, adjusted odds ratio
  • ASF, animal source foods
  • Animal source foods
  • BMI, body mass index
  • Constraints and determinants
  • Consumption frequency
  • ETB, Ethiopian Birr; ha, hectare
  • Households in Ethiopia
  • IQR, Inter-quartile Range
  • SD, Standard Deviation
  • USA, United States of America
  • USAID, United States Agency for International Development
  • USD, United States' Dollar


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