Dietary habits and nutritional behaviors of people are the food culture of every society. The aim of this study was to investigate factors, which affected food diversity in urban households of Iran.
The study was carried out in a cross-sectional and analytical form on 18,627 households. Data were extracted from the Bulletin of Urban Household Expenditure and Income in 2016 published by Iran Statistical Center. Berry Index was used to measure food diversity. The index included scores of zero to one and a greater score indicated a greater food diversification. The study model variables included personal (age, education, gender), social (literacy, geographical region, participation rate) and economic (income, cost) variables.
Increase of every literature person in household percentiles of 10, 25, 50, 75 and 90 increased food diversity by 0.0001, 0.0003, 0.0001, 0.0008 and 0.0007, respectively (p < 0.01). The household per capita expenditure in all percentiles included a significant positive relationship with the food diversity. In median (t = 50%), a 1000-Rial increase in per capita food expenditure resulted in a 2.5-unit growth in food diversity (p < 0.01). Households who lived in south and desert regions included the highest (0.86) and the lowest (0.84) diversities in food regimes, respectively.
Food diversity behaviors in Iranian households mostly depend on their residence. Growth of household income in lower percentiles increases food diversification. Therefore, economic growth can lead to diversification of foods and hence prevention of non-communicable diseases.
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