Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 31, Issue 4


Household food insecurity and its association with morbidity report among school adolescent in Jimma zone, Ethiopia

Dessalegn Tamiru / Tefera Belachew
Published Online: 2018-01-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0042



Household food insecurity has a substantial contribution to poor health outcomes among young children and adolescents. Food insecurity also affects optimal cognitive development and physiological function of these vulnerable groups. There is a gap of documented data regarding the association of food insecurity and morbidity among school adolescents in Ethiopia.


The aim of this study is to assess the interrelationship of household food insecurity and morbidity report among school adolescent in Jimma zone, Ethiopia.


A community based cross-sectional study was done from October to November, 2013. Data were gathered using structured questionnaires through interview of students and their caregivers. A total of 1000 students were selected by using simple random sampling methods using their rosters as a frame. Data were also checked for missing values and outliers, and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. Regression analyses were used to see the strength of association between independent and dependent variables using odds ratios and 95% of confidence intervals.


Adolescents from food insecure households had more reported illness (39.3%) than adolescents from food secure households (24.7%) (p < 0.001). Adolescents from food insecure households were two times more exposed to morbidity [AOR = 2.04(1.32, 3.14)] than adolescents from food secure households. This study also showed that males had 48% less reported illness [AOR = 0.52(0.01, 0.23)] than females. Adolescents who had attended health education had less reported illness [AOR = 0.57(0.38, 0.86)] than those who did not ever attend. This study also showed that having a farmer [AOR = 0.46(0.28, 0.74)] and government employee [AOR = 0.33 (0.17, 0.64)] father were inversely associated with adolescent morbidity.


The findings of this study showed that household food insecurity, female gender and lack of attending health education had a significant contribution to adolescent morbidity. Therefore, there is a need to improve household income earning capacity and strengthen school based health and nutrition education to prevent adolescent morbidity. The findings of this study can also be used to lead the development of programs aimed at preventing adolescent morbidity by notifying policymakers and other stakeholders about the association of morbidity with household food insecurity.

Keywords: adolescent; food insecurity; Jimma; morbidity


  • [1]

    Latham M. Food and Agricultural Organization: Food and Nutrition Division. Human nutrition in the developing world series, #1. Massachusetts, USA, 1992. Available from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/w0073e/w0073e03.htm. Accessed on June 2015.

  • [2]

    World Health Organization. Nutrition in adolescence–Issues and Challenges for the Health Sector: Issues in Adolescent Health and Development. Geneva, Switzerland, 2005. Available from: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2005/9241593660_eng.pdf. Accessed on June 2015.

  • [3]

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The State of Food Insecurity in the World. Meeting the 2015 international hunger targets: taking stock of uneven progress, Rome, Italy; 2015. Accessed on April 2016. Available from: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4646e.pdf.

  • [4]

    Danaa D, Mekonnen Z, Emana D, Ayana M, Getachew M, Workneh N, et al. Prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminth infections among pre-school age children in 12 kindergartens in Jimma Town. Trans R Soc Trop Med. 2015;109:225–7.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [5]

    FederalFederal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia: Ministry of Health National Hygiene and Sanitation Strategy. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2005. Available from: http://www.wsp.org/UserFiles/file/622200751450_EthiopiaNationalHygieneAndSanitationStrategyAF.pdf. Accessed on April 2015.

  • [6]

    United Nations Children’s Fund.ProgressProgress for Children: A report card on adolescents. New York, 2012. Available from: www.childinfo.org/files/PFCwww.unicef.org/media/files/PFC2012_A_report_card_on_adolescents.pdf. Accessed on April 2015.

  • [7]

    Sinha J, Cnaan R, Gelles R. Adolescent risk behaviors and religion: findings from a national study. J Adolesc. 2007;30:231–49.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [8]

    Belachew T, Lindstrom D, Gebremariam A, Hogan D, Lachat C, Huybregts L, et al. Food based coping strategies and suboptimal dietary practices of adolescents in Jimma zone Southwest Ethiopia. PLoS One. 2013;8:e57643.CrossrefWeb of SciencePubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [9]

    Nguyen N, Gelaye B, Aboset N, Kumie A, Williams M, Berhane Y. Intestinal parasitic infection and nutritional status among school children in Angolela. Ethiopia. J Prev Med Hyg. 2012;53:157–64.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [10]

    Tamiru D, Belachew T. The association of food insecurity and school absenteeism: systematic review. BMC Agric & Food Secur. 2017;6:5.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [11]

    Belachew T, Hadkley C, Lindstrom D, Gebrenmariam A, Lachat C, Kolsteren P. Food insecurity, school absenteeism and educational attainment of adolescents in Jimma Zone Southwest Ethiopia: a longitudinal study. Nutr J. 2011;10:29.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [12]

    Hadley C, Stevenson E, Tadesse Y, Belachew T. Rapidly rising food prices and the experience of food insecurity in urban Ethiopia: impacts on health and well-being. Soc Sci Med. 2012;75:2412–9.PubMedCrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [13]

    Tamiru D, Melaku Y, Belachew T. Food insecurity and its association with school absenteeism among rural achool adolescents in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2017;29:114–21.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [14]

    Belachew T, Hadley C, Lindstrom D, Gebremariam A, Lachat C, Kolsteren P. Food insecurity, school absenteeism and educational attainment of adolescents in southwest Ethiopia: longitudinal study. Nutr J. 2011;10:29.PubMedCrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [15]

    Thang N, Popkin B. Patterns of food consumption in Vietnam: effects on socioeconomic groups during an era of economic growth. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004;58:145–53.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [16]

    Mandefro A, Mekitie W, Mohammed T, Lamessa D. Prevalence of undernutrition and associated factors among children aged between six to fifty nine months in BuleHora district, South Ethiopia. BMC Public Health. 2015;15:41.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [17]

    Tamiru D, Argaw A, Gerbaba M, Girmay A, Nigussie A, Belachew T. Household food insecurity and its association with school absenteeism among primary school adolescents in Jimma zone, Ethiopia. BMC Public Health. 2016;16:802.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [18]

    Mukherjee A, Sinha A, Taraphdar P, Haldar D, Debasish S, Sinhal M. Effectiveness of an educational intervention on personal hygiene among school children in slum area of Kolkata, India. J Dent Med Sci. 2014;13:13–7.Google Scholar

  • [19]

    Kabahenda M, Mullis R, Erhardt J, Northrop-Clewes C, Nickols S. Nutrition education to improve dietary intake and micronutrient nutriture among children in less-resourced areas: a randomised controlled intervention in Kabarole district, Western Uganda. S Afr J Clin Nutr. 2011;24:83–8.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [20]

    World Health Organization. WHO Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition. Geneva, Switzerland, 1997. Available from: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/1997/WHO_NUT_97.4.pdf. Accessed on May 2015.

  • [21]

    United Nations Economic and Social Council. Status of Food Security in Africa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2012. Available from: http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/uploaded-documents. Accessed on May 2015.

  • [22]

    Ajao K, Ojofeitimi E, Adebayo A, Fatusi A, Afolabi O. Influence of family size, household food security status, and child care practices on the nutritional status of under-five children in Ile-Ife. Afr J Reprod Health. 2010;14:123.Google Scholar

  • [23]

    Burchi F, Muro P. Natural Resources Management and Environment Department (NR) Education for Rural People Initiative. Reducing Children’s Food Insecurity through Primary Education for Rural Mothers: The case of Mozambique. 2005. Available from: http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/ERP/uni/DEMuro.pdf. Accessed on June 2015.

  • [24]

    Frongillo E, De Onis M, Hanson K. Socioeconomic and demographic factors are associated with worldwide patterns of stunting and wasting of children. J Nutr. 1997;127:2302–9.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [25]

    Mary B, Ginny C, Sarah C, Sam L, Caroline F. Socio-economic factors, lifestyle and gender differences in body mass index in rural India. J Nutr. 2006;136:3062–8.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [26]

    Ndiku M, Jaceldo-Sieg K, Singh P, Sabate J. Gender inequality in food intake and nutritional status of children under 5 years old in rural Eastern Kenya. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011;65:26–31.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [27]

    Sharaf F. Impact of health education on compliance among patients of chronic diseases in Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2010;4:139–48.Google Scholar

  • [28]

    Vlassoff C. Gender differences in determinants and consequences of health and illness. J Health Popul Nutr. 2007;25:47–61.PubMedGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-03-02

Accepted: 2017-10-01

Published Online: 2018-01-13

Conflict of interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 31, Issue 4, 20170042, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0042.

Export Citation

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in