Nutrition education promoted consumption of pulse based foods among rural women of reproductive age in Sidama zone, southern Ethiopia
Nutrition education about locally available, nutritionally rich crops, such as pulses, is one of the promising strategies to reduce the burden of malnutrition among women in rural communities of low-income and middle income countries such as Ethiopia. This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of nutrition education on the knowledge, attitude and practice of women of reproductive age using the Health Belief Model. A pre-test post-test controlled intervention study was conducted on 200 randomly selected women from Hawassa Zuria district in two groups: intervention (n=100) and control (n=100). Nutrition education intervention was given using Health Belief Model (HBM) only to the intervention group, every 15 days for consecutive six months whereas the control group got the same information in a summarized form at the end of the study. Women in both groups completed knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) and food frequency questionnaires at baseline and after six months of intervention. Data were analyzed using independent and paired sample t-tests to find out the effect of nutrition education intervention by comparing the pre and post test data between the two groups and within each group. The result showed a significant improvement in the mean knowledge (p<0.001), attitude (p<0.001), and practice scores (p<0.001) in the intervention group compared to control group. There was significant (p<.001) improvement in the scores of HBM constructs: perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, self-efficacy, and taking health action by the intervention group to the control group. The success of this intervention using nutrition education to improve practices using pulses may be due to there being repeated demonstrations of pulse processing and recipes, to group discussions involving peer learning and experience sharing, and to interest from the mothers regarding health benefits. It is concluded that nutrition education based on HBM can be effective in bringing positive change on the KAP of women of reproductive age towards household utilization of pulse based diets.
Key words: pulses, education, Health Belief Model, Ethiopia, legumes, women, diet,
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