Inadequate food and nutrition affect human well-being, particularly for many poor subpopulations living in rural areas. The purpose of this research was to analyze the factors that determine the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) in the rural area of the Paute River Basin, Azuay Province, Ecuador. The sample size of 383 surveys was determined by a stratified random sampling method with proportional affixation. Dietary diversity was measured through the HDDS, with 12 food groups (cereals; roots and tubers; fruits; sugar/honey; meat and eggs; legumes or grains; vegetables; oils/fats; milk and dairy products; meats; miscellaneous; fish and shellfish) over a recall period of 7 days. A Poisson regression model was used to determine the relationship between the HDDS and sociodemographic variables. The results show that the average HDDS of food consumption is 10.89 foods. Of the analyzed food groups, the most consumed are cereals; roots and tubers; fruits; sugar/honey. In addition, the determinants that best explain the HDDS in the predictive model were housing size, household size, per capita food expenditure, area of cultivated land, level of education, and marital status of the head of household. The tools used in this research can be used to analyze food and nutrition security interventions. Furthermore, the results allow policymakers to identify applicable public policies in the fight against hunger.
Keywords: Ecuador; HDDS; Poisson regression model; dietary diversity; rural area.