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Drivers of food choice among children and caregivers in post-earthquake Nepal

Drivers of food choice among children and caregivers in post-earthquake Nepal

Schreinemachers, Pepijn, Shrestha, Rachana Manandhar, Gole, Bishal, Bhattarai, Dhruba Raj, Ghimire, Puspa Lal, Subedi, Bhisma P., Brück, Tilman ORCID: 0000-0002-8344-8948, Baliki, Ghassan, Gautam, Ishwori P. and Blake, Christine E. (2021) Drivers of food choice among children and caregivers in post-earthquake Nepal. Ecology of Food and Nutrition. ISSN 0367-0244 (Print), 1543-5237 (Online) (In Press) (doi:

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Food systems in many countries are experiencing a shift from traditional foods towards processed foods high in sugar, fat and salt, but low in dietary fiber and micronutrients. There is an urgent need to better understand drivers of changing food behavior, particularly for lower-income countries. This study analyzes drivers of food choice among children and parents in rural Nepal. It uses qualitative data collected through key informant interviews and focus group discussions with school children, parents and teachers. The study reveals substantial changes in food behavior during the past decade with increased consumption of rice, meat, and highly processed snack foods while an increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is not evident. It identifies cash availability is the main driver of increased rice, meat and snack food consumption. The second driver is the 2015 Nepal earthquake, which accelerated the transition from home-grown food to purchased food as people got habituated to eating more meat and snack foods while reconstruction tripled local wages and changed the food environment. This shows how humanitarian assistance in the wake of extreme shocks can unintentionally contribute to unhealthy eating habits. An integrated school and home garden intervention appears to contribute to healthier diets.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: diet, food behaviour, food system, healthy eating, nutrition transition
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 12:11
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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