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Association between nutrition knowledge, lifestyle, dietary practices and nutritional status among civil servants in western Nigeria

O.F. Akinmoladun
O.J. Oluyede
F.A. Femi
O.O. Olaitan
C.N. Nesamvuni


Nutrition knowledge plays a crucial role in promoting healthier eating practices, leading to the maintenance of healthy body weight. This is because  knowledge of dietary guidelines and healthy eating habits among adults has been positively correlated. However, in terms of dietary habits,  presumptions that the supposed civil servants in some parts of Western Nigeria are knowledgeable about basic dietary practices are yet to be  explored. Therefore, this study was designed to assess the nutrition knowledge, lifestyle, dietary practices, and nutritional status among men and  women civil servants in Ado, Ekiti State, Nigeria. A structured interviewer questionnaire was administered to civil servants (180 male and 220 female  elderly respondents, <60years old) to collect data on economic and socio-demographic characteristics, nutrition knowledge, lifestyle, and dietary  habits. Anthropometric measurements were also taken. The quantitative were coded, collated, and analyzed using SPSS. Descriptive statistics were  used to summarize data from categorical variables. Chi-square test, at a 5% confidence level, was used to establish any significant relationship  between food intake parameters and nutrition knowledge. Most of the respondents (66.7%) were affected by the delayed payment of their monthly  salaries. The total knowledge scores revealed that 13.25%, 41.25% and 45.50% of the respondents had poor, fair and good nutrition knowledge,  respectively. Unfortunately, this higher nutrition knowledge does not translate into good dietary habits. Data obtained revealed bad eating habits,  as a more significant percentage of the respondents regularly ate high-fat foods (99.5%), ate outside the home (85.3%) and did not take vegetables  (83.3%) nor fruits (60%) daily. There exists, however, a significant and positive relationship between nutrition knowledge and physical activity  (P=0.043), high-fat foods consumption (P<0.001), daily fruits consumption (P<0.001) and vegetable consumption (P<0.001). In conclusion, the  discrepancy between the respondents' high nutrition knowledge and their seemingly poor lifestyle and dietary behaviour show that nutrition  knowledge alone does not translate into good dietary behaviour.