Background: Dietary diversity is a crucial indicator of diet quality, nutrient adequacy and a major reason for all people to meet the requirements for essential nutrients. Improved feeding practices by the provision of adequate diversified food can lead to improved intake of energy and nutrients. Lacking of dietary diversity is a major problem which may bring a triple burden both in developing and developed nations. Relatively lower evidence about dietary diversity and contributing factors in rural and urban children aged 6-23 months in the study area was initiating factor to conduct this study. Therefore; this study was planned to assess dietary diversity and its associated factors among rural and urban children aged 6-23 months in Guagusa Shikudad Woreda, Northwest Ethiopia, 2018.
Methods: Community-based comparative cross-sectional study design was conducted. The total of 924 study participants was randomly selected from both urban and rural settings. The interviewer administered questionnaires were used for data collection. The collected data were entered to computer by using Epi-Data version 3.1 software and the analysis was done with SPSS version 24 software. Logistic regression model was fitted to get factors associated with minimum dietary diversity.
Result: The result of this study revealed that 305(33.4%) of children in both urban and rural had minimum dietary diversity of 228(50.1%) and 77(16.8%) respectively. For urban residence, Age of child (AOR= 17.520, 95% CI 8.351, 36.756) and feeding frequency per day (AOR=7.363, 95%CI 2.632, 20.601), for rural residence mothers/or care givers education (AOR= 1.848, 95% CI 1.015, 3.359) and Age of child (AOR= 7.203, 95% CI 2.837, 18.286) were factors associated with dietary diversity.
Conclusion: The practice of minimum dietary diversity of mothers/or caregivers for their children was much lower in rural than urban. The most determinant factors for dietary diversity were mother’s education, age of child and feeding frequency. Therefore, strengthening the existed awareness about dietary diversity, showing practical session or demonstrations about preparation of diversified foods should be considered as pertinent issues to address minimum dietary diversity.
Keywords: Dietary diversity, Residence, Children aged 6-23 months.