Household dietary practices and family nutritional status in rural Ghana

  • Nti, Christina A.
  • Published : 2008.03.31

Abstract

A cross-sectional study involving 400 mothers was conducted in the Manya Krobo district of Ghana with the objective of studying household dietary practices, quality of diets and family nutritional status of rural Ghana, A combination of methods, including structured interviews using questionnaire, dietary assessments and anthropometry was used to collect data for the study. The data obtained was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 10 in Windows. Means and standard deviations were generated for continuous variables and frequency distribution for categorical variables. Most women consumed meals three times a day but only a few (12.5%) cooked all three meals at home. Breakfast and lunch were the two main meals purchased from food vendors. The most frequently consumed food items on daily basis were the starchy staples, maize, fish, pepper, onion, tomato and palm fruits. The nutritional qualities of diets were poor in terms of calcium and the B-vitamins. A significant proportion of the women were nutritionally at risk of being either underweight (12%), overweight (17%) or obese (5%). For adequate nutrition in this population, nutrition education intervention programs aimed at improving nutrient intake through improved diet diversity and increased use of local foods rich in calcium and the B-vitamins needs to be undertaken. There is also the need to intensify education on excessive weight gain and its attendant health problems in the area.

Keywords

Dietary practices;consumption;nutritional composition;dietary quality

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