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Nutrition & Dietetics

Dietary habits, nutrition knowledge and anthropometric indices of traders in ideato local government area, imo state.




This study aimed at investigating the nutrition knowledge and nutritional status of traders in Ideato North L.G.A, Imo State. It was a cross-sectional survey comprising of two hundred and seventy (130 females and 140 males) traders which were randomly selected for this study. The study was conducted at six markets in Ideato North Local Government Area, Imo State. A structured and validated questionnaire was used to collect information on socio-economic data, frequency of food consumption, 24 hours diet recall and nutrition knowledge. Weights, heights and waist and hip circumference measurements were assessed using Harison weighing scale, meter rule calibrated in centimeter and non stretchable tape respectively. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 was used to analyze the data. The results showed that 200 subjects were recruited of which 48.1% were females and 51.9% were males. Sixty three percent  of the  respondents  had good  nutrition knowledge, 35.2% had moderate knowledge of nutrition while 1.5% had poor nutrition knowledge. Fifty four percent of the subjects had normal weight. 37.0% were overweight, 7.0% were obese while 1.1% were underweight. Waist Hip Ratio revealed that 52.2% have low risk, 24.4% have moderate risk while 23.3% have high risk associated with Waist Hip Ratio. Majority (55.9%) of the subjects ate twice a day%, 96.7% skip at least one meal per day. Seventy percent of the subjects consumed fruits weekly, 14.7% consume fruits daily while 15.6% consume fruits occasionally. Majority (52.6%) of the respondents consume vegetables weekly, 43.7% consume vegetables daily, while 4.8% consume vegetable occasionally. Most (97.4%) of the subjects engage in snacking while 2.6% never snacked. There was a significant positive relationship (p = 0.015) between nutrition knowledge and frequency of food intake. There was also an insignificant positive correlation between nutrition knowledge and nutritional status. A significant positive correlation (p < 0.001) was observed between Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Hip Ratio. Findings from the study suggest that nutrition knowledge has to be transformed into habits so as to affect nutritional status.

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1.0     Introduction

Food habit is the dietary or eating habits developed by people over a period of time (Obiakor, 2006). Food habits develop early in life and undergo modification throughout the life span. Dietary habits and feeding practices vary with tribe, ethnicity and geographical location. Food habits encompass food choice which is a degree of freedom of control over the foods that people eat (Cox, et al., 2004).  Food choice in humans involves many complex interactions incorporating areas ranging from the biological mechanism of appetite control through the psychology of eating, behavior, social and cultural values to public health and commercial attempts to alter the food intake of a particular population.

Food habits and choices are influenced by many factors and this is what makes the food habit and choice of an individual or group different from others. Factors such as; religion, culture, economy, geographical location, occupation, education etc,influences food habits and choices of an individualor population. Food habits in most societies are dependent on the cultures of communities which determine preparation methods and restrictions to certain foods particularly animal foods on gender and this can contribute to adequacy on dietary intake and society health at large (Cox, et al., 2004). Also, the geographical area people find themselves influences what they eat. The nutrition transition in urban has eroded traditional food practices and replaced them with modernized food habits in our society. In most urban areas traditional foods are short of supply and expensive due to poor market systems. As a result, people living in urban areas are more receptive to foods that are easy and quick to prepare since there is not always enough time to accommodate lengthy food preparation (Den Hartog,et al., 2006). Food habits in adults are also influenced by various factors such as cost, psychology, food availability etc.

The food habits of the natives of Ideato North are associated with the foods that are easily found in the locality. The south-eastern part of Nigeria which is mainly regarded as Igbo’s is known for certain food habits. Also, the major staples of this locality are the tubers (yam, cocoyam, cassava, potato), grains (rice, beans, maize, millet, wheat etc.) and certain fruits and vegetables. They are also known for the consumption of different kinds of soups such as Oha, egusi, Olugbu, Okra, Ogbono etc. these major foods form the basis for their food habits and choices. Studies have shown that tubers (yam, cocoyam, cassava) are the major staples of the natives of Ideato North.

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Nutrition knowledge plays important role in influencing food choices which ensure nutrient needs throughout lifecycle are met adequately since individual needs differs. Food choices continue to be influenced by wide range of factors such as advertising through social marketing, economic status and environmental concern. The need to enhance consumer knowledge is being reflected in the changing lifestyle particularly in urban areas as more people continue to increasingly eat away from home. The increased demandsfor food in markets have led to a corresponding increase in processed and packaged foods which have continued to replace the traditional foods. Therefore, food market and choices are becoming complex and overcrowded. Much attention is therefore needed in enhancing right information and clear labeling of products to address concerns by consumers on intake of adequate nutrients and healthy choices (Contento, 2007).

Nutritional status is the condition of health of an individual that is influenced by the intake and utilization of nutrients. Adequate nutritional health is maintained by the state of equilibrium in which nutrient intake and requirements balance (Jelliffe, 2000).The evaluation of nutritional status is a broad topic and to be of clinical importance, the ideal method should be able to predict whether the individual would have increased morbidity and mortality in the absence of nutritional support. Nutritional status can be assessed in many ways such as anthropometric method, dietary method, clinical method and biochemical method. Anthropometry involves the examination of human physical body parts for signs of malnutrition. It is themost common, non-invasive and inexpensive means of assessing nutritional status of individuals. Anthropometry can be evaluated using triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses, mid-arm muscle circumference, BMI (weight and height) and Waist-Hip Ratio (waist and hip circumferences)

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1.1     Statement of Problem

The health condition of traders is one of the factors that play a role in assuring progress in their business. A study by Ogbudemi et al.,(2012) reported high prevalence of obesity (12.3%), overweight (39.9%) and hypertension (34.8%) among traders in Lagos. The high level of obesity and overweight among traders could be associated with sedentary lifestyle, dietary habits.Whereas, the level of under-nutrition among traders could be associated with socio-economic status, meal-skipping, lack of good nutrition knowledge anddietary habits of traders. This study will therefore evaluates the nutritional knowledge, nutritional status and dietary practices of traders in Ideato North  L.G.A.

1.2     Objectives of the Study

1.2.1  General Objectives

The general objective of this study was to determine the nutritional knowledge, anthropometric indices and dietary habits of traders in Ideato North Local Government Area, Imo State.

1.2.2  Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of this study includes to:

  1. Determine the nutrition knowledge of traders in Ideato North Local Government Area.
  2. Determine the Anthropometric indices of traders in Ideato North Local Government Area.
  3. Evaluate the dietary practices of traders in Ideato North Local Government Area.

1.3     Significance of the Study

Data obtained from this research work will be beneficial in the following ways:

  1. It will provide information on the nutrition knowledge, nutrition status and dietary practices of traders in Ideato North Local Government Area.
  2. It will guide nutritionist in conducting nutrition education programmes
  3. It will serve as a guide in making policy towards improving the nutritional health of traders.

To traders who need to be informed about the health and nutrition risks associated with their occupation.

Pages:  65

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF                 

Chapters: 1-5                                                      

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.



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