Dietary Outcomes, Nutritional Status, and Household Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Practices

Elsevier, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 6, 1 April 2022
Anyanwu O., Ghosh S., Kershaw M., Cherinet A., Kennedy E.

Background: The Government of Ethiopia has made a major commitment toward improving food security, diet, nutrition, and health through a series of national nutrition plans. The focus of these plans is on providing both nutrition-specific as well as nutrition-sensitive approaches for achieving national priorities for health and nutrition. The present study conducted a secondary analysis of data provided through a larger birth cohort study conducted in Ethiopia between 2014 and 2016. Objectives: The overall objectives of this research were to assess the relation between minimum dietary diversity in women and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and evaluate the association between midupper arm circumference (MUAC) in women and WASH. Methods: In addition to descriptive statistics, the study used mixed effects logistic regression analyses to investigate the relation between dietary diversity, MUAC, and household WASH practices. Results: Improved WASH practices were associated with an increased probability (p = 0.04) that a woman would consume a diet with foods from 5 or more food groups. A beneficial effect was observed for improved WASH practices and a decrease in low MUAC. Improved household WASH practices were successful in contributing to improved dietary diversity in women as well as an improved MUAC. Conclusions: Interventions aimed at improving the diet and nutritional status of women during and after pregnancy should include relevant WASH components as essential elements in multisector nutrition programming.