Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Dietary quality and tree cover in Africa

Ickowitz, Amy and Powell, Bronwen and Salim, Mohammad and Sunderland, Terry (2013): Dietary quality and tree cover in Africa. Published in: Global Environmental Change (30 December 2013)

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Abstract

The relationship between forests and human nutrition is not yet well understood. A better understanding of this relationship is vital at a time when the majority of new land for agriculture is being cleared from forests. We use Demographic Health Survey food consumption data for over 93,000 children from 21 African countries and Global Land Cover Facility tree cover data to examine the relationship between tree cover and three key indicators of the nutritional quality of children’s diets: dietary diversity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and animal source food consumption. Our main findings can be summarized as follows: there is a statistically significant positive relationship between tree cover and dietary diversity; fruit and vegetable consumption increases with tree cover until a peak of 45% tree cover and then declines; and there is no relationship between animal source food consumption and tree cover. Overall our findings suggest that children in Africa who live in areas with more tree cover have more diverse and nutritious diets.

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