Patterns and Trends in Food Consumption in Poor Urban and Rural Households in Bangladesh Cluster Analysis of Household Survey Data

To identify groups within rural and urban Bangladesh demonstrating similar socio-economic characteristics and food consumption patterns. A household survey was conducted in a variety of locations in Dhaka Division to collect information from rural, and urban households. Cluster analysis was then used to group the households in Dhaka Division. The analysis highlighted 5 clusters. Cluster 1 is categorised as an urban lifestyle group, with a mixed poverty profile and a transforming consumption pattern. Cluster 2 is the rural rich also experiencing a transforming consumption pattern. Cluster 3 is the poor with a traditional consumption pattern that appears to be deteriorating in balance. Cluster 6 is the rural less poor group with a traditional consumption pattern. Cluster 5 is comprised of poor female-headed households with a traditional consumption pattern, excluded by poverty and status from any dietary transition. Households exhibiting a transition in food consumption towards market sourced, packaged, and new food items tend to be either urban in nature or from households classified as rich/surplus. Not only is the diet of the poor not diversifying into these “new food items” but also the diversity of food from traditional sources is declining, with an increased reliance on rice and very low expenditure on high protein food items. There is a distinct dietary pattern for slum dwellers, but female-headed households do share this pattern and appear to be excluded from any transition by poverty and cultural barriers. 

Authors: Halder, Shantana; Urey, Ian
Type: Report
Year: 2003