Mal J Nutr 21(2): 167 - 178, 2015

Regional and Seasonal Variations of Food Consumption in Cambodia
In Sl, Lambre C2, Camel V3'4 & Ouldelhkim M5

ABSTRACT

Introduction: This study aimed to assess the regional and seasonal variations of food consumption in Cambodia.
Methods: A cross-sectional food consumption survey was conducted in four different regions in Cambodia involving purposive sampling of 441 and 500 adult subjects aged 25-65 years, respectively. Dietary intake was assessed using 24-hour recall and a food frequency questionnaire.
Results: The Cambodian diet typically consists of rice, fish, meat, fruits and vegetables. All subjects consumed rice at least twice a day. Mean daily consumption of cooked rice was 823 g/person, with the men consuming 1022 g/day compared to 712 g/ day for women. In the wet season all subjects consumed 881 g/ day compared to 772 g/ day in the dry season. The mean consumption of vegetables (250 g/day) and fruits (145 g/ day) approximately reached international recommendations (400 g/ day). The highest meat consumption and the lowest fish consumption rates were found in the capital region. The difference in fish and egg consumption between men and women was statistically significant. The Cambodian diet is still not sufficient in milk. The average consumption of alcohol was about 25 g/day.
Conclusion: High consumption of rice observed in this study confirms that rice is a staple food in Cambodia as in the other Asian countries. Relatively high meat consumption in the capital could be related to income growth and could indicate the beginning of a nutritional transition from the traditional dietary pattern. Overall, the dietary habits of the Cambodian population have not changed (yet) to adapt to the western style diet.

Keywords: Cambodia, food consumption, regional and seasonal variations

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