Demographic and Regional Differences in Household Dietary Diversity in Bangladesh: Evidence from the 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey


  • Md. Akheruzzaman
  • Masum Ali
  • Kazi Muhammad Rezaul Karim
  • Md. Ruhul Amin


Household Income and Expenditure Survey, Household dietary diversity, Food security, Bangladesh


The dietary diversity score is now being widely accepted as a tool to see the dietary intake pattern qualitatively.
This tool can be used for a rapid proxy measure of household food access of the population. As the Household
Income and Expenditure Survey of Bangladesh (HIES) are done routinely in many developing countries, this can
be a good source of dietary data for the field of nutrition research. The study endeavoured to measure household
dietary diversity scores (HDDs, 0-12) from a nationally representative population and frequency of food group
consumption for the Bangladeshi population at different spatial levels from the HIES, 2010 dataset. The study
found HDDs (Mean±SD) of 6.16±1.91 for Bangladeshi households. Households from Small Municipality Area
(SMA) showed the highest HDDs of 6.95±2.34 followed by municipality (6.61±2.04) and rural areas (5.87±1.72).
Chittagong and Sylhet division’s households’ diet is more diversified (7.09±2.12 and 6.95±1.83, respectively),
whereas the lowest HDDs are found in Rajshahi (5.71±1.68). Mean differences of HDDs significantly vary by
the education level of the mother, family size, number of earners, and religious status of the household. Overall,
the percentages of households with no intake of meat and poultry, fruits, and milk and milk products were
43.1%, 28.2%, and 48.6%, respectively, in the survey period of 14 days. HDDs varies significantly by region
and household characteristics. Animal-sourced foods (meat and poultry, milk and milk products, and eggs) and
fruits should be made more accessible through policies and programs at the household level across divisions
where consumption is low.