Caregivers’ perceptions of household hunger and adequacy of dietary intake in a resource limited community in the Bronkhorstspruit district (Gauteng)

  • R. Mathye
  • G. Gerickle
Keywords: Household hunger, dietary adequacy, food accessibility, Hidden hunger, Nutrition education


This paper describes households’ perceptions of hunger and adequacy of dietary intake by caregivers. A descriptive cross-sectional study in the quantitative research paradigm was conducted to collect data from caregivers (N=50) who were responsible for buying and preparing food for school aged children, residing in different households in Bronkhorstspruit in the Gauteng Province South Africa. Caregivers were individually interviewed using structured questionnaires (socio-demographic, Hunger Scale and the 24 hour-recall questionnaires, respectively). The majority (68%) of the caregivers had good nutrition knowledge but they did not know how to apply the knowledge in their dietary lifestyle. The socio-economic status and nutrition knowledge and attitudes of the caregivers were found to be possible factors that influenced dietary intakes of the households. The mean Household Food Variety Score (FVS) was 4.38 (± 1.0) and the Household Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) was 4.28 (±1.0). The results indicated an average of eight food items were consumed in the households during the 24-hour period of the maximum of 24 food items, identified by the 24-hour recalls. It was concluded that there is a need to eradicate the problem of low food diversity and there is a need to increase micronutrient intakes of children. The DDS of households showed that the food groups that were consumed by the households were ranging from an average of three (food items which incorporated a number of food groups from one) to seven groups. It can also be concluded that the households had a limited variety and diversity of diet since the food items and food groups were limited. This study showed that there is a limited food access by the households due to low incomes. Caregivers should be encouraged to get involved in food production activities; such as greenery projects, brick making projects, etc. that they can use the money they get from the projects to buy food for their families. This would help the caregivers in improving the dietary diversity and variety of their households.

Keywords: Household hunger, dietary adequacy, food accessibility, Hidden hunger, Nutrition education

Afr. J. Food Agric. Nutr. Dev. 2019; 19(3): 14541-14554

Author Biographies

R. Mathye
Postgraduate student in the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Wellbeing University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002
G. Gerickle
Head of Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358