Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Effect of some Socio-economic Factors on the Nutritional Status of Pregnant and Lactating Women in Rural Communities of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State

RA Mustapha, T Ademulegun, GA Ogundahunsi


Objective: A cross sectional study on the effect of some socio-economic factors on the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women was carried out in five rural communities of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Nigeria.
Subjects and methods: Questionnaire was used to obtain information on 24-hour dietary intake as well as some socio-economic and demographic factors. Hundred (100) each of pregnant and lactating mothers attending primary health centres were selected using simple random sampling method. Structured and pretested questionnaire was used to obtain information from the respondents. Daily food intakes were measured by 24hour-diet recall and food models to estimate energy, and macronutrients intake of the mothers. Anthropometric data such as weight, height, mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) were collected using standard procedures
Results: The mean age and body mass index of the lactating women were 24.9 years and 22.1kg/m2. ,while mean age and mean MUAC of pregnant mothers were 25.7 years and 28.3cm, respectively. In all age categories, the higher the parity the higher the level of undernutrition. Women from lower socio-economic status had higher prevalence of undernutrition than women from higher socio-economic status. Mean energy intake per day for pregnant and lactating mothers was 8.5MJ/d and 11.4MJ/d, respectively. Energy intake of the pregnant women was found to be lower than RDA (81.8%). Chronic energy deficiency was higher among the younger women (16-25years). All the subjects met the RDA for protein, except that their protein came majorly from plant sources.
Conclusion: The need for nutrition education, women empowerment, health support and safety nets by government and non-governmental organizations cannot be overemphasized in reducing prevalence of malnutrition among these vulnerable groups.

Keywords: Socio-economic factors, malnutrition, safety nets, lactating and pregnant women.

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