Food consumption changes in Botswana since 1966

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Naomi Setshegetso


Historically, Botswana has predominantly been an agricultural country (mainly cattle farming) until the discovery of diamonds in the 1970s. This caused dramatic changes in food consumption patterns towards western oriented diet and this will likely to continue to change. Hence, to shed light on the issue, this paper analyses consumption patterns of different food items for Botswana, using data from Food Agricultural Organization Statistics Tables. This information is ideal in shedding light on possible public health interventions to be undertaken as efforts to curb the consumption of some preventable non-communicable diseases (NCDs) whose risk factor are associated with high intake of food items such as fat and sugar. Our results suggest that there has been an increase in consumption of meat, fruits and vegetables, sugar and oil. Hence, from the policy perspective, these shifts in food consumption patterns towards sugar and oil are of concern. This is so because for some NCDs, risk factors are associated with a high intake of these food items for which this paper finds a rise in their consumption.

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