Children’s Diets, Nutrition Knowledge, and Access to Markets

In this paper, we study the impact of caregivers' nutrition knowledge and its complementarity with market access

Abstract

Chronic undernutrition in Ethiopia is widespread and many children consume highly monotonous diets. To improve feeding practices in Ethiopia, a strong focus in nutrition programing has been placed on improving the nutrition knowledge of caregivers. In this paper, the authors study the impact of caregivers’ nutrition knowledge and its complementarity with market access. To test whether the effect of nutrition knowledge on children’s dietary diversity depends on market access, they use survey data from an area with a large variation in transportation costs over a relatively short distance. This allows them to carefully assess the impact of nutrition knowledge with varying access to markets, but still within similar agro-climatic conditions. Using an Instrumental Variable approach, we find that better nutrition knowledge leads to considerable improvements in children’s dietary diversity, but only in areas with relatively good market access. Their findings suggest that policymakers and program implementers need to ensure that efforts to improve nutrition knowledge are complemented by efforts to improve access to food.

This research was supported in part by the Department for International Development’s Transform Nutrition Programme which is led by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Citation

Kallde Hirvonen, John Hoddinott , Bart Minten, and David Stifel. Children’s Diets, Nutrition Knowledge, and Access to Markets (2017) World Development Volume 95, July 2017, Pages 303-315 Volume 95, July 2017, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.02.031

Children’s Diets, Nutrition Knowledge, and Access to Markets

Published 1 July 2017