Economic and demographic predictors of dietary variation and nutritional indicators in Nicaragua. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: We measured carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios in a contemporary population, and tested how the isotopic variability relates to measures of socioeconomic status (e.g., household wealth) and anthropometric measures (e.g., standardized height-for-age and weight-for-age z-scores). METHODS: Hair samples from individuals living in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua were analyzed for 13 C and 15 N, and these data were examined in relation to individual (e.g., age, sex, anthropometrics) and household (e.g., household size, wealth) variables. RESULTS: We found through mixed-effects modeling that 13 C and 15 N varied predictably with individual age and household wealth. 13 C and 15 N did not, however, improve models predicting variation in individual anthropometric measures. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that, although there is a relationship between diet (13 C and 15 N) and socioeconomic variables, these dietary differences are not the main cause of health differences in this population.

published proceedings

  • Am J Hum Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Cooper, C. G., Burns, J. L., Koster, J. M., Perri, A. R., & Richards, M. P.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Cooper, Catherine G||Burns, Jessica L||Koster, Jeremy M||Perri, Angela R||Richards, Michael P

publication date

  • July 2018