Correlates of household food insecurity and low dietary diversity in rural Cambodia

Christine M. McDonald, Judy McLean, Hou Kroeun, Aminuzzaman Talukder, Larry D. Lynd, Timothy J. Green

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to identify correlates of household food insecurity and poor dietary diversity in rural Cambodia. Trained interviewers administered a survey to 900 households in four rural districts of Prey Veng Province, Cambodia. The Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) and Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) were used to assess household food insecurity and dietary diversity. Multivariate logistic regression models were constructed to identify independent correlates of household food insecurity and poor dietary diversity (HDDS ≤3). The mean±SD HFIAS and HDDS scores were 5.3±3.9 and 4.7±1.6, respectively. The respective prevalence of mild, moderate, and severe food insecurity were 33%, 37%, and 12%; and 23% of households had an HDDS ≤3. In multivariate analyses, several indicators of socioeconomic status, and ownership of agricultural land were associated with household food security status, although the latter association lost its significance in models that adjusted for household income. Similarly, although ownership of agricultural and homestead land was initially associated with poorer dietary diversity, income mitigated these associations. The presence of electricity and vegetable production were the only other variables that were significantly associated with both outcomes. In this rural area of Cambodia, the prevalence of any degree of household food insecurity was very high and dietary diversity was generally low. Interventions to improve food security and dietary diversity should encompass income-generating activities and be targeted toward the poorest households.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-730
Number of pages11
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cambodia
  • Dietary diversity
  • Household food security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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