Effect of nutrition education on the consumption pattern of students of secondary schools in Ikot Okpora of Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria
This research on effect of nutrition education on the consumption pattern of secondary school students in Ikot Okpora in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State was aimed to investigate the types of food available in Ikot Okpora.
Methodology: Survey and purposive sampling was used to select three hundred and twenty students of the school since the number was small and one hundred (100) parents. Descriptive statistics, percentages and independent paired sample t-test was used to separable and compared.
Result: The result of the study showed that majority of the parents were teenagers (36%) who were mostly farmers/traders (40/26%) respectively and who are majorly low income earners (N15,000,00) per month. A significant increase in some food items such as dairy products, vegetables, legumes, meat and fish product, pastas, baked products after and a reduction of consumption in food items of carbohydrates such as starchy roots a tubers, cereals, sweets/sugars. This implied that nutrition education had effect on the consumption pattern of the secondary school students. This finding also showed that nutrition education had effect in reducing the amount of carbohydrates and increasing the consumption of protein foods among the young students. The increase in baked products and pastas consumption could be allowed to enable the students take some snacks while in school during brake time. Increase in the consumption of fat and oil (margarine) should be encouraged as most margarine are fortified with some micro-nutrients. The excessive consumption of sweets and sugars should be discouraged as this could lead to dental carries especially in children and chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, etc. The increase in the consumption of certain food items especially meat, and fish products and healthy snakes would lead to the healthy growth and development of the secondary school students. This is because, this is another stage of growth spurt, to enable them developing optimally, reduce micro-nutrient efficiencies, stunting and wasting, etc.
Conclusion: Nutrition education should be intensified both in schools and community. School feeding programme should be implemented in the state/federal schools, so as to encourage the students to eat variety of meals.