Assessment of Dietary Habits and Nutritional Status of Adolescents in a Resource – Poor Environment in Nigeria
International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Volume 7, Issue 4, July 2018, Pages: 121-128
Received: May 31, 2018; Accepted: Jun. 20, 2018; Published: Jul. 7, 2018
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Sarah Iyoefo Iyalomhe, Department of Nursing Science, College of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria
Samuel Esiemokhai Iyalomhe, Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria
Ifeanyi Godwin Nwadike, Department of Nursing Science, College of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria
Rosemary Ngozi Osunde, Department of Nursing Science, College of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria
Godfrey Bolade Samuel Iyalomhe, Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, College of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria
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Information is scarce about dietary habits and nutritional status in adolescents in Ekpoma, Nigeria. This is partly because of this age group’s reputation for capriciousness and also because health services/research in developing countries tend to focus more on pre-school children and pregnant women. This study aimed to optimize the health needs of Nigerian adolescents by determining the dietary habits and the nutritional status of adolescents using anthropometry. The cross-sectional descriptive study engaged 400 adolescents aged 10 - 19 years in four secondary schools in Ekpoma using a semi-structured questionnaire for data collection. Height (m2) and weight (kg) were measured and body mass index (BMI) was computed to assess underweight, normal weight, over-weight or obesity. SPSS was used to analyse data. Important factors affecting dietary habits include parental influence (87%), taste of food (71%), mass media reports (61%) and culture (55%). Percentages of underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese adolescents were 24%, 72%, 3% and 1%, respectively. There was significant association between BMI and monthly household income, p<0.002. There were no significant gender differences. In contrast to the rising prevalence of obesity worldwide, this study has demonstrated that under-nutrition is a challenge in this environment. Intensified nutritional education, provision of adequate healthy diets and motivational strategies are imperatives to prevent malnutrition and its related health consequences in this adolescent population – tomorrow’s adults.
Adolescents, Dietary Habits, Nutritional Status, Anthropometry, Nigeria
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Sarah Iyoefo Iyalomhe, Samuel Esiemokhai Iyalomhe, Ifeanyi Godwin Nwadike, Rosemary Ngozi Osunde, Godfrey Bolade Samuel Iyalomhe, Assessment of Dietary Habits and Nutritional Status of Adolescents in a Resource – Poor Environment in Nigeria, International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. Vol. 7, No. 4, 2018, pp. 121-128. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnfs.20180704.12
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