Seasonal dietary intakes and socioeconomic status among women in the terai of Nepal

Rebecca K. Campbell, Sameera A. Talegawkar, Parul Christian, Steven C. LeClerq, Subarna K. Khatry, Lee S.F. Wu, Keith P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Despite widespread nutritional deficiencies, investigations of usual diet in rural South Asia remain sparse. The present study characterizes year-round and seasonal dietary patterns of women in the Terai of Nepal by sociodemographic status, using a novel, weekly single-visit and usual food frequency questionnaire that links recall to the agricultural season. The study was conducted across seasons in 2006-2008 among 15,899 women of reproductive age in Sarlahi district. Intakes were tabulated for all foods, overall and by socioeconomic status (SES), and in and out of season, as appropriate. Foods consumed regularly [median (interquartile range) weekly frequency] were rice [13 (7-13)], potatoes [10 (5-13)], legumes [6 (2-9)], and vegetable oil [13 (13-13)]. Animal products were infrequently consumed [1 (0-2) time per week] as were fruits and vegetables, most with a median weekly intake frequency of 0. Higher SES was associated with more frequent consumption of most food-groups, including in-season fruits and vegetables. Diets of women in the Terai of Nepal lack diversity and, likely, nutrient adequacy, which may pose health risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-216
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Dietary adequacy
  • Female
  • Food frequency
  • Interviews
  • Nepal
  • Rural population
  • Seasons
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Undernutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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