Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Dr. Debbie Humphries

Subject Area(s)

Public health


Garden-based nutrition interventions focus on improving food security and

food diversity through the creation and augmentation of homestead food production.

This study assesses the impact of a garden-based nutrition intervention on the

consumption of vitamin A rich foods and household food security in rural

communities of the Dominican Republic. It was hypothesized that communities

participating in the intervention would experience a statistically significant increase in

vitamin A rich food consumption and improved household food security compared to

control communities. Validated "Vitamin A Food Frequency" and "Food Security"

questionnaires were conducted by convenience sampling of households containing a

pregnant woman or a child under the age of five years in two control, two

intervention, and fourteen non-case/non-control communities before the initiation of a

garden-based nutrition intervention. In case and control communities, interviews

were conducted both before the intervention (n=69) and two years after its initiation

(n=45). Pre- and post-intervention analysis revealed an increase in average weekly

intake of vitamin A rich foods in both intervention and control communities (p<0.05)

but the treatment effect did not reach significance. Both control and intervention

communities experienced statistically insignificant improvements of food security.

These results indicate that garden-based nutrition interventions may be a valuable

means to enhance vitamin A food intake in rural settings in developing countries,

though a larger sample size may be needed to reach statistical significance.