The relationship between income and food Consumption patterns in urban Nakuru

This thesis reports on a study carried out in Nakuru Municipality to determine the relationship between income status and food consumption patterns of its Indigenous Africans. Residents from three different income groups, i .e. high, mid, and low were interviewed using a structured questionniare, to determine their food consumption as well as their income status. Food consumption patterns were defined in terms of consumption frequency, expenditure, and the quantity consumed of selected food items. The consumption of two nutrients was also looked into. The results showed that there was a significant variation among the groups in the food consumption patterns. The findings also indicated a general trend in which most of the food items increased with rise in income. Their consumption was highest in the high income group and lowest in the low income group. There were a few foods however that differed from this general trend. The consumption frequency of maize and beans, and the amounts consumed of maize-meal, maize, beans, and sugar differed from the general trend. The expenditure on maize-meal, maize, and beans also differed. These observations led to the conclusion that there is a relationship between income and food consumption patterns, i.e. the level of household income influenced the frequency of consumption, the amounts consumed, as well as the expenditure on food items. These findings suggest that income is an important factor influencing food consumption patterns. It is therefore recommended that income be taken Into account in the planning and formulation of nutrition policies.