عنوان مقاله [English]
Dietary diversity is a feature of healthy diets. This is because essential nutrients are not present in one type of food at the same time, rather, they are found in a diet consisting of several nutrients. However, in recent years, the food tastes of Iranian families have shifted to high-calorie and non-nutritional value foods, which has increased the number of patients with non-communicable diseases in the country. The choice and acceptance of different diets depends on environmental, economic, socio-cultural and psychological factors.
Materials and Methods
Since ensuring health and food security is one of the strategic goals of the country 20-year vision document, the present study evaluates the dietary diversity of households and its effective factors in Tehran province. To achieve this goal, the raw information of household expenditure-income in 2020 has been used. In the present study, the Berry dietary diversity index (BI) was used to quantify the dietary diversity variable and the order logit model was used to investigate and evaluate the effect of demographic, economic and social variables on it.
Results and Discussion
The results showed that only 23.2% of Tehran households have high dietary diversity and 76.8% of households have low or medium dietary diversity. Based on the results, the variables of head household age, place of residence, working hours of household head and household income level has a positive (direct) association and in contrast, the variables of head of household literacy, household size and employment status of head of household in a negative (inverse) direction affect the level of dietary diversity of households in Tehran province.
The food diversity of households in Tehran province is very low. If the food price level is low and stable, increasing incomes can lead consumers to diversify their food baskets and move from consuming low-value cereals and root and tuber products to consuming high-nutrition foods such as meat, dairy, and fruits and vegetables. In this regard, a review of the experience of many European, Latin American and Asian countries shows that stability in food prices along with cash aid and targeted food packages can increase consumption and food diversity of households and food security in poor households, especially women and children. Families living in Tehran province, which have a larger population, have less food diversity. As the household dimension increases, the minimum food needs increase; this reduces the volume and quality of food available to the household and leads to food insecurity. In the current situation, the country is struggling with economic problems caused by sanctions, inflation, unemployment. Continuation of this, along with lack of effective support for families, can deprive families of the ability and facilities to have more children due to food insecurity. Accordingly, the correct and complete design and implementation of incentive policies and support for large families is necessary. Finally, the role and importance of education and literacy of households in their food diversity is very high. In this regard, responsible organizations can play an important role in obtaining, processing and understanding nutrition information and how to access credible information sources through culture and specialized and general training in food literacy.