HNFE junior and Fralin Fellow Keely O’Keefe examined diets of women and children in Madagascar this summer. Keely surveyed 138 mothers in 10 Malagasy villages with support from a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the Fralin Life Science Institute. Working with faculty member Alisha Farris, she interviewed mothers in Madagascar about diet diversity, which foods they view as healthy or unhealthy, food security, and access to markets, crops, and livestock.
Keely and Alisha found that the average diet diversity score was about 6.5 out of 12, with a good diet diversity score being 9 or higher. They also found that many women and children had limited diets, a large portion of rice with a small green leafy vegetable on the side for every meal, because of the high cost of items such as poultry or fish and their distance from a market.