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Coping Strategies and Household Dietary Diversity in a Low Income Neighborhood in South Africa

W C J Grobler ()
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W C J Grobler: North West University

No 05WG, Working papers from Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies

Abstract: Several recent studies define food insecurity as a situation where the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain. To overcome the challenges of food insecurity household’s employ certain Coping Strategies to mitigate food shortages. A quantitative research method was deployed and a stratified random sample of 600 households in two low income neighborhoods was included during a study conducted in 2015, to measure food insecurity, coping strategies and dietary diversity. The study found that households employed coping strategies to mitigate food shortage, but this leads to low dietary diversity. The study found that the Coping Strategy to “Buy only necessities†, “skip meals†and “purchase food on credit†is employed by a significant number of households. The study found that these coping strategies are associated with lower dietary diversity. This study aimed to increase the general understanding of food insecurity in low-income areas, and how coping strategies impact on dietary diversity in the context of food insecure households The study concluded that although households may use coping strategies to mitigate the impact of food shortages it will directly impact on low dietary diversity with health consequences. In this context, there may be desperate need in low income neighborhoods to amend policy to include a more comprehensive approach that includes adequate information to households on health consequences of low dietary diversity.

Keywords: Food Insecurity; Coping Strategies; Economic Development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 7 pages
Date: 2018-11
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Published in Proceedings of the 11th International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities, November 19-20, 2018, pages 32-38

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