Background Globally there are 1.8 billion adolescents, comprised of 10-19 years old, represent approximately 20% of the world’s population. In Ethiopia this group represents 20-26% of general population. Despite the fact that this period is a window of opportunity to break intergenerational cycle of malnutrition, macro and micronutrient deficiencies are among leading health problems in this vulnerable age groups. Moreover, there is scarcity of data on the status of dietary diversity in this segments of the population.
Methods a community based cross sectional study design was employed from May 21-June 20, 2019. Pre-tested structured questionnaire was used for data collection using cluster sampling technique to approach 451 households with adolescent girls. Data was entered in to Epi-Data version 3.1 then exported to SPSS version 23 for analysis. Descriptive and logistic regression analysis were performed. Adjusted Odd Ratios (AOR), along with corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were used and the level of statistical significance was declared at a p-value of <0.05.
Results a total of 434 households with adolescent girls were involved in the study. We found that 41.7% of households were food insecure, only 57.8%, (C.I.53.5-62.2) of adolescent girls consumed diversified diet, with the mean DDS of 5.38 (SD=1.75). After adjusting for potential confounders, occupational status of the adolescents’ father, (AOR= 0.56, 95% C.I. 0.32-0.99 and AOR=0.26, 95% C.I. 0.17-0.47), exposure to televised media (AOR=3.36, 95% C.I. =1.55-7. 3) and household food security status (AOR=5.09, 95% C.I. =3.2-8.08) were significant predictors of dietary diversity among adolescent girls.
Conclusion Significant portion of households were food insecure; practicing ranges of coping strategies which further compromised dietary diversity of adolescent girls. Poor dietary diversity adversely affects micronutrient reserves of to-be a-mother girls; the vicious cycles of malnutrition continues its far fetching effect. Given that adolescence is the second period in life with rapid growth and development, improving dietary status of this sensitive segments of the population are to be an agenda of all concerned bodies.