Dietary characteristics of complementary foods offered to Guatemalan infants vary between urban and rural settings

Nutr Res. 2009 Jul;29(7):470-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2009.06.007.


The objective of this study was to describe and compare the dietary variety, diversity, and origins of complementary foods given to urban and rural Guatemalan infants in the second semester of life. Dietary intake from a total of 128 infants of both sexes, aged 6.0 to 12.0 months on admission, from a low-income district of Guatemala City and a rural Mayan village was collected by means of 3 nonconsecutive 24-hour quantitative intake recalls and breast-feeding histories. We hypothesized that rural/urban, age, and sex differences would occur with respect to dietary variety and diversity scores and descriptive features at 7 levels, that is, animal or plant origin (animal, plant, both, or water); solids or semisolids vs soups and stews vs liquids; infant vs family foods; modern vs traditional foods; processed vs nonprocessed foods; commercial vs noncommercial foods; and fortified vs nonfortified foods. Overall dietary variety and diversity scores did not differ significantly between sampling areas or between sexes. Infants aged 9 to 12 months had a higher dietary variety and diversity than infants aged 6 to 9 months. Plant sources constituted a large part of the diet in both areas. Foods prepared specifically for infants, rather than for the household, were not common, although more common in the urban area than in the rural area. Commercial, processed, and fortified foods were commonly consumed in both settings. It can be concluded that although no geographical differences were seen in dietary variety or diversity, distinctions between types of selected and consumed foods were observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Breast Feeding
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Guatemala
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Male
  • Rural Population*
  • Urban Population*
  • Vegetables