Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Hazel W. Forsythe


Inadequate nutrition in preschool-aged children in an urban indigenous community outside of Santo Domingo, Ecuador has a negative impact on growth and development. Nutritional assessments have shown that children are underweight and that there are some effects of stunting and wasting in the population. This study was conducted to assess the extent of food security in this indigenous community in preparation for addressing two of the Millennium Development Goals for 2015: reducing the under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds and eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. An aim was to validate on-site assessment measures in this indigenous community regarding geographic circumstances, transportation, food culture systems and other barriers to food intake. These are interrelated and impact nutritional data collected on Tsáchila families in Ecuador. Mixed methods research were conducted to examine the factors that contribute to nutritional intake. The results showed observed food intake was less than food intake reported on the FFQ. Micronutrient and macronutrient levels, weight-for-height and height-for-age measures were below the WHO standard deviations for Z-scores for this population.