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Household food consumption patterns in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Abdulazize Wolle, Kalle Hirvonen (), Alan de Brauw, Kaleab Baye and Gashaw Abate

No 139, ESSP working papers from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Abstract: Overweight and obesity are rising rapidly in Ethiopia's urban areas, constituting a major public health concern. Dietary choices can be one of the key drivers of adult body-weight. Using data collected from a large household survey in Addis Ababa, we provide a snapshot of dietary patterns in Ethiopia's largest urban area. We find that starchy staples (cereals, roots, and tubers) are prominent in household food baskets, taking up 25 percent of the food budget and providing more than 50 percent of consumed calories, on average. In contrast, the consumption of all kinds of fruits and vitamin A-rich vegetables is very low. For the average household, meat products account for nearly 18 percent of the food budget but provide only 2 percent of total calories. Richer households consume relatively less starchy staples than poorer households, but more animal-source foods and vegetables. However, the importance of fruits in household diets rises very slowly with household incomes. Together, these findings suggest that further income growth will result in drastic changes in the composition of food demand in Addis Ababa. Considering projections for increasing incomes, especially in urban areas, this will have major implications for agricultural production in rural areas connected to Ethiopia’s cities. There is also an urgent need to design cost-effective public health campaigns to reduce the emerging overweight and obesity crisis in urban Ethiopia.

Keywords: ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; households; food consumption; household consumption; overweight; obesity; health; food access; nutrition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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