Household Food Insecurity and Associated Dietary and Socio-economic Factors among Pregnant Women of Mid-west Bangladesh

Main Article Content

Israt Jahan
Fardib Mahbub
Eyad Ahmed


Purpose: The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of household food insecurity and to determine the dietary and non-dietary factors associated with household food insecurity among pregnant women of mid-west Bangladesh.

Methodology: The study was conducted in four sub-districts of Rajshahi district: Rajshahi Sadar, Godagari, Tanor and Shardah. It was a cross-sectional study which randomly enrolled 150 pregnant women. Household food insecurity among the respondents was calculated with the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS).

Results: The mean age of the pregnant women was 29±3 years. About 76% of respondents were food secure, 23% of respondents were mildly food insecure, and only 1% of respondents were moderately food insecure. Severe food insecurity was not observed among the respondents in Rajshahi. About 17% of respondents were anxious and uncertain about their household food supply, about 23% of respondents said that they had to eat foods of insufficient quality and only 1% of respondents replied that they had eaten an insufficient amount of food during the month prior to the study. It was observed that the mean Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) and mean Food Consumption Score (FCS) significantly differed (P < .05) between food secure and food insecure respondents. Meat, fish and poultry consumption were found higher among the food secure respondents but vegetable consumption was higher among the food insecure group. Some socio-economic factors such as household size, respondents’ educational status, husbands’ educational status, husbands’ occupation and monthly household income were significantly associated (P < .05) with household food insecurity of the respondents.

Food insecurity, dietary factors, socio-economic factors, pregnant women.

Article Details

How to Cite
Jahan, I., Mahbub, F., & Ahmed, E. (2019). Household Food Insecurity and Associated Dietary and Socio-economic Factors among Pregnant Women of Mid-west Bangladesh. European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, 10(1), 24-30.
Original Research Article


Tarasuk VS. Household food insecurity with hunger is associated with women's food intakes, health and household circumstances. The Journal of Nutrition. 2001;131(10):2670-2676.

Casey PH, Simpson PM, Gossett JM, Bogle ML, Champagne CM, Connell C, Weber J. The association of child and household food insecurity with childhood overweight status. Pediatrics. 2006;118(5): e1406-e1413.

Shariff ZM, Lin KG. Indicators and nutritional outcomes of household food insecurity among a sample of rural Malaysian women. J Nutr. 2004;30:50-55.

Che J, Chen J. Food security in Canadian households. J Health Rep. 2001;12:11–22.

Sarlio-Lahteenkorva S, Lahelma E. Food insecurity is associated with past and present economic disadvantage and body mass index. The Journal of Nutrition. 2001;131(11):2880-2884.

Melgar-Quinonez HR, Zubieta AC, MkNelly B, Nteziyaremye A, Gerardo MFD, Dunford C. Household food insecurity and food expenditure in Bolivia, Burkina Faso, and the Philippines. The Journal of Nutrition. 2006;136(5):1431S-1437S.

Hakeem R, Asar F, Shaikh AH. Food Insecurity in metropolis of the developing world-observations from Central District of Karachi, Pakistan. Journal-Pakistan Medical Association. 2003;53(11):556-562.

World Health Organization. The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2018: building climate resilience for food security and nutrition. Food & Agriculture Org; 2018.

Laraia BA, Siega-Riz AM, Gundersen C. Household food insecurity is associated with self-reported pregravid weight status, gestational weight gain, and pregnancy complications. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010;110(5):692-701.

Saha KK, Frongillo EA, Alam DS, Arifeen SE, Persson LÅ, Rasmussen KM. Household food security is associated with growth of infants and young children in rural Bangladesh. Public Health Nutrition. 2009;12(9):1556-1562.

McDonald CM, McLean J, Kroeun H, Talukder A, Lynd LD, Green TJ. Household food insecurity and dietary diversity as correlates of maternal and child undernutrition in rural Cambodia. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015;69(2):242.

Althoff RR, Ametti M, Bertmann F. The role of food insecurity in developmental psychopathology. Preventive Medicine. 2016;92:106-109.

Piperata BA, Schmeer KK, Rodrigues AH, Torres VMS. Food insecurity and maternal mental health in León, Nicaragua: Potential limitations on the moderating role of social support. Social Science & Medicine. 2016; 171:9-17.

Coates J, Frongillo EA, Rogers BL, Webb P, Wilde PE, Houser R. Commonalities in the experience of household food insecurity across cultures: what are measures missing?. The Journal of Nutrition. 2006;136(5):1438S-1448S.

Webb P, Coates J, Frongillo EA, Rogers BL, Swindale A, Bilinsky P. Measuring household food insecurity: why it's so important and yet so difficult to do. The Journal of Nutrition. 2006;136(5):1404S-1408S.

Swindale A, Bilinsky P. Development of a universally applicable household food insecurity measurement tool: process, current status, and outstanding issues. The Journal of Nutrition. 2006;136(5):1449S-1452S.

Coates J, Swindale A, Bilinsky P. Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) for measurement of food access: indicator guide. Washington, DC: Food and nutrition technical assistance project, academy for educational Development. 2007;34.

Salarkia N, Abdollahi M, Amini M, Neyestani TR. An adapted household food insecurity access scale is a valid tool as a proxy measure of food access for use in urban Iran. Food Security. 2014;6(2):275-282.

Knueppel D, Demment M, Kaiser L. Validation of the household food insecurity access scale in rural Tanzania. Public Health Nutrition. 2010;13(3):360-367.

Tiwari S, Skoufias E, Sherpa M. Shorter, cheaper, quicker, better: Linking measures of household food security to nutritional outcomes in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Uganda, and Tanzania. The World Bank; 2013.

Keller H. The Food Security and Nutrition Surveillance Project: Results from Round 7; 2012.

Mulugeta M, Tiruneh G, Alemu ZA. Magnitude and associated factors of household food insecurity in Fedis Woreda East Hararghe Zone, Oromia region, Ethiopia. Agriculture & Food Security. 2018;7(1):3.

Shone M, Demissie T, Yohannes B, Yohannis M. Household food insecurity and associated factors in West Abaya district, Southern Ethiopia, 2015. Agriculture & Food Security. 2017;6(1):2.

Álvares L, Amaral TF. Food insecurity and associated factors in the Portuguese population. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2014;35(4):S395-S402.

Nkomoki W, Bavorová M, Banout J. Factors associated with household food security in Zambia. Sustainability. 2019; 11(9):2715.

Ukegbu P, Nwofia B, Ndudiri U, Uwakwe N, Uwaegbute A. Food insecurity and associated factors among University Students. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2019;40(2):271-281.

Tantu AT, Gamebo TD, Sheno BK, Kabalo MY. Household food insecurity and associated factors among households in Wolaita Sodo town. Agriculture & Food Security. 2017;6(1):19.