Report on Somali Diet

Discussion in 'Man Cave' started by Aden, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. Aden


    May 23, 2017

    The Nutrition Surveillance Project within the Food Security Analysis Unit aims to develop an understanding of issues that relate to food utilisation and nutrition that affect both urban and rural population in Somalia.

    Average daily consumption in all seasons shows seriously insufficient availability for some nutrients of both wealth groups. · Energy consumption, outside of periods of food stress appears to be adequate or near adequate according to most reported consumption at sites visited. Energy availability is low for poor households and inadequate for the very poor. It is likely that further attention needs to be paid to the possible impact of labour intensive periods of agricultural work due to its impact on energy needs of those members of the household working. ·

    Nutrient availability shows a strong relationship with socio-economic group with the poor showing greatest deficits. 20 Food Utilisation in Somalia. FSAU/FAO Nutrition Project. 2002 · Lack of purchasing power limiting the purchase of rice and pasta is likely to be of more benefit than harm as many nutrients are lost through use of such refined products.

    However highly milled rice contains little fibre and therefore can be digested and absorbed easily which is an advantage for young children. · Under-nutrition becomes a serious issue when purchasing power falls below a level where adequate cereal supplies of any kind can be purchased for the household, this is not uncommon particularly in poor households and is common place in very poor households. · Iron, vitamin A and vitamin C availability is low in agro-pastoral diet. Limited use of vegetables and fruits restricts the availability of micronutrients. The fact that the small amounts of vegetables are cooked further decreases the availability of micronutrients.

    Cereal-based diets reduce the percentage of available iron absorbed by the body. · Increased availability of milk during the rainy seasons increases the availability of vitamin A, but amounts of milk consumed are unlikely to provide sufficient vitamin A. · No food taboos were identified which restrict food intake for particular household members but there is strong evidence of general under consumption by pregnant women. ·

    Pregnant women suffer from very low iron intake as availability is low for the household as a whole, no extra allowance of iron rich foods are given to pregnant women and their iron needs are high. · Reported consumption patterns privilege children over adults, particularly young children but other research (outside Somalia) has shown young children may receive food intakes which are lower in relation to their requirements than other household members, as the exceptionally high food requirements per kg of small children is not fully appreciated (for example Abdullah and Wheeler 1985). Using recall methods it is not possible to examine this idea. Implications of above information as a basis for the design of interventions · Food-based interventions using a combination of agriculture and education strategies deserve attention yet lack of experience in promotion, implementation and evaluation of programmes is clear as are the limited options available in the Somili agro-pastoral context. ·

    Educators should only recommend nutrition guidelines which are practical and acceptable to the community, which restricts possibilities in this area. Participants in this study showed a lack of information on the nutritional value of foods but a strong interest in the subject. ·

    The understanding of the value of vegetables is low and particular attention needs to be paid to the promotion of green leave use particularly with reference to pregnant women. Note should be taken of the local assumption that anything ‘nutritious’ or ‘with vitamins’ creates the undesirable excessive growth of the foetus. · The promotion of home production of vegetables or a diversified crop in general is difficult in rainfed areas. Programmes involving vegetable production have taken place in some rainfed areas of Somalia. · The promotion of small animal husbandry in order to increase the milk availability would be welcomed but raises questions of efficacy and effectiveness in drought prone areas.
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