Home gardening and access to animals in households with xerophthalmic children in rural Nepal

Anita V. Shankar, Joel Gittelsohn, Elizabeth K. Pradhan, Chandra Dhungel, Keith P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This case-control study compares the home garden and animal husbandry practices of households with and without xerophthalmic children in south-central Nepal, focusing on the relationship between these practices and household intake of vitamin A-rich foods. Eighty-one households with a child between the ages of one and six years diagnosed with xerophthalmia (cases) and 81 households with an age-matched, non-xerophthalmic child (controls) were studied. There was little difference between case and control households in the size of their gardens. However, case households were significantly less likely to plant carotenoid-rich vegetables from October to March than were control households (odds ratio, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.16 to 0.96). The mean consumption of non-carotenoid-rich vegetables, but not of carotenoid-rich vegetables, increased linearly with garden size. Case households were significantly more likely than control households to rent domesticated animals from others (χ2=5.91; p <.05). Control households were more likely than case households to own chickens and pigeons (χ2 = 6.6-9.2; p <0.5). During specific seasons, household meat consumption was significantly lower in case households, regardless of access to animals. Case households appeared to have significantly lower intakes of key vitamin A-rich foods, particularly green leaves and meat, regardless of their socio-economic level (as determined by ownership of material goods), access to animals, or availability of home gardens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalFood and nutrition bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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