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Exploring dietary diversity, nutritional status of adolescents among farm households in Nigeria: do higher commercialization levels translate to better nutrition?

Olutosin Ademola Otekunrin (Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
Oluwaseun Aramide Otekunrin (Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 13 July 2022

Issue publication date: 28 February 2023




This study aims to explore dietary diversity (DD) and nutritional status of adolescents among rural farm households in Southwestern Nigeria. It analyses whether higher commercialization levels of farm households translate to better nutrition.


This study was conducted in Ogun and Oyo States of Southwestern Nigeria, using primary data from 352 farm households with a total of 160 adolescent members. The individual version of dietary diversity score (DDS) of nine food groups was used to calculate adolescent DDS over a 24-h recall period. World Health Organization AnthroPlus software was used in analyzing adolescents’ anthropometric data (height-for-age z-score and body mass index-for-age z-score) while household crop commercialization index (CCI) was estimated for each farm household. Separate logit models were used to examine the drivers of adolescents’ DD and malnutrition.


The study findings indicated that 100% of the adolescents consumed starchy staples while 0%, 3.1% and 12.5% consumed organ meat, milk/milk products and eggs, respectively. Results revealed that 74.1% and 21.2% of boys were stunted and thin while the prevalence in adolescent girls was 50.7% and 9.3%, respectively. Prevalence of stunting was found to be very high (60%–83%) in all the four CCI levels’ households indicating that belonging to highly commercialized households (CCI 3–4) may not necessarily translate to better nutrition of adolescent members. Food expenditure (p < 0.01) and access to piped water (p < 0.01) negatively influenced adolescents’ stunting mainly because of lower expenditure on food items and lower percent of household having access to piped water, respectively, while education (p < 0.01) had positive effects on adolescents’ DD.


Previous studies have contributed to the body of knowledge concerning the link between agricultural commercialization and nutrition using under-five children of the households. However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that investigated the influence of CCI on DDS and nutritional status of adolescent members of farm households in Nigeria. This study fills this existing knowledge gap in investigating adolescents’ DD and malnutrition among smallholder farm households.



The authors sincerely appreciate all farm households in rural Ogun and Oyo states that participated in the data collection.

Funding: No funding was received to carry out this research.


Otekunrin, O.A. and Otekunrin, O.A. (2023), "Exploring dietary diversity, nutritional status of adolescents among farm households in Nigeria: do higher commercialization levels translate to better nutrition?", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 3, pp. 500-520.



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