Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Iron and vitamin C rich foods intake of lactating mothers whose staples are roots and tubers

Ngozi B. Eme, Ogechukwu P. Umeakuka, Vivienne N. Ibeanu, Peace N. Ani, M. Ezeja Peace, Cyril O. Anoshirike, Uju M. Onuorah


Background: In many communities in Nigeria, culture and gender-based intra food distribution in households increase the risk of micronutrient deficiency among women irrespective of their physiological state.

Objective: This study evaluated the consumption pattern of iron and vitamin C rich foods of lactating mothers whose staple foods are roots and tubers

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used to evaluate consumption pattern of iron and vitamin C rich foods intake of 587lactating mothers whose staple foods were roots and tubers. The consenting mothers were selected from 12 out of the 23 primary health centres a community in Enugu state, Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information mothers infant breastfeeding practices, consumption pattern of iron and vitamin C rich foods and factors influencing choice for selection of foods. Data collected were analysed using statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 22.0 and presented as frequencies, means and percentages.

Results: As many as 41.9% and 37.9% advanced wrong combinations of foods as sources of iron and vitamin A, respectively. About 49% ate meat/product occasionally, 23.6% and 20.4% consumed fluted pumpkin and tomatoes daily, respectively. There was a significant (p < 0.02) relationship between the consumption pattern of vitamin C rich foods and iron rich foods.

Conclusion: Intake of iron and vitamin C rich foods was observed to be low in this study. Women empowerment and nutrition education with emphasis on dietary diversity should be incorporated in the antenatal programme.

Keywords: Lactating women, vitamin C, iron, intake, roots and tubers

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