Nutritional status, dietary diversity, and food security of adolescent girls in rural Bangladesh


  • Gopal Kumar Ghosh
  • Md Nazrul Islam
  • Khairun Nahar Juthi
  • Afsana Yesmin
  • Tamima Rahman
  • Rokshana Rabeya


Background: Childhood malnutrition is widespread in South Asia like many other underdeveloped and developing countries and it continues throughout adolescent age. Poor nutrition of adolescents could lead to various complications later in life.

Objective: The objectives of this study are to assess the nutritional status, dietary diversity, and food security of adolescent girls in rural Bangladesh, as well as to assess the factors that influence them.

Methods: A cross-sectional study among 422 participants was conducted in two selective areas in the Narayanganj district of Bangladesh. BMI (Body Mass Index)-for-age (z-score) and Height-for-age (z-score) were considered in evaluating the nutritional status of the study participants. Food and Agricultural Organization guidelines 2011 were used to calculate Individual Dietary Diversity Score. Food insecurity was assessed by using the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale version 3.

Results: The findings revealed that the prevalence of underweight and stunting were 9.5% and 12.1% respectively.  In addition, 13.2% and 4.3% of the respondents were found to be overweight and obese. The height-for-age (z score) was associated with the age of adolescents (p=0.037). Mother’s (p=0.005) education were also correlated with their nutritional status. Outcomes of the Individual Dietary Diversity Score showed that 25.6%, 42.9%, and 31.5% of the adolescents had low, medium, and higher dietary diversity scores respectively, while 7.3% had different degrees of food insecurity.

Conclusion: Compared to underweight, overweight and obesity were shown to be more prevalent. However, a small percentage of the individuals reported various levels of food insecurity in this study. To attain an optimal level of nutrition, it is essential to ensure expanded food availability for the rural community. Proper nutrition education at primary and secondary education levels will enable teens to have diversified foods as well as assists in gaining healthy weight. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2020; 35(3):000-000]

Keywords: Nutritional status, Dietary diversity, Food security, Adolescents, Rural Bangladesh



How to Cite

Ghosh, G. K. ., Islam, M. N. ., Juthi, K. N. ., Yesmin, A. ., Rahman, T., & Rabeya, R. . (2021). Nutritional status, dietary diversity, and food security of adolescent girls in rural Bangladesh. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 35(3). Retrieved from



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