Identifying the household factors, and food items, most important to nutrition in Vanuatu is designed to help policy-makers designed targeted interventions to improve the availability of a lower cost, nutritionally superior diet. It uses empirical methods to identify which households are most at risk of poor nutrition outcomes in Vanuatu, using micro-data from the Household Income and Expenditure diary.
It first establishes the average daily intake levels of energy and micronutrients among households in Vanuatu, and compares these with recommended intake levels. Subsequently the analysis provides for those households who consume a diet which provides less than 50% or more than 150% of the recommended daily intake levels of calories, total fat, vitamin A, iron, protein and sodium. Using probit regression analysis, it investigates whether insufficient of excessive consumption of these micro and macronutrients is positively or negatively correlated with indicators of income and food poverty identified in the literature on Pacific populations: location (urban or rural); the composition of income (subsistence or waged); the number and ratio of dependents to working age adults in the household; the gender and education level of the household head; and the types of housing construction materials and furnishings used by the household. The paper also compares changes in average household food baskets across urban and rural areas, and populations satisfying and not satisfying the recommended micro and macronutrient intake levels. Finally, the analysis report identifies the optimum food basket for assisting households meet the recommended energy and nutrient dietary intake levels at the lowest cost.