Background Food provides the nutrition individuals need which takes up the bulk of the total household budget in the Philippines. However, malnutrition still persists. Patterns of food allocation within the household may be contributing to malnutrition in certain vulnerable groups.
Objectives This study looked into the factors that determine the intra-household food allocation among Filipinos and its implications on the nutritional status of household members especially women and young children.
Methods The Philippines' 7th National Nutrition Survey done in 2008 was used in analyzing the factors that affect individual food intake, shares in food intake, energy and protein adequacies and inequality of adequacies within the household. The cooperative collective model of the household was implemented in analyzing the data and panel data estimation method was used to account for unobserved household characteristics that affect preferences.
Result The study showed that those who contribute more, particularly those who are employed, males, and the head, get more food and have higher probabilities of being energy and protein adequate than other household members. Pregnant and lactating women have significantly lower probability of being energy and protein adequate compared to males and other physiologic groups. They also have lesser probability of getting energy and protein adequacy equal to or greater than the household. Likewise, young children have significantly less share in food intake than other household member which eventually resulted in lesser probability of being energy and protein adequate.
Conclusion The food allocation of pregnant and lactating women and young children in the household as well as their energy and protein adequacies need to be considered in programs targeting these physiologic groups. For example, many health programs focus on pre-natal and post-natal care as part of maternal and child nutrition but little attention have been given at directly improving their energy and protein adequacies.
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