Orient Journal of Medicine

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Nutrition knowledge of young, post-year one, non-biological science female students at a private university in Rivers State, Nigeria

Emmanuel C Enemchukwu, Samson O Agbaje


Background: Nutrition knowledge, highly associated with healthy eating is especially needed by women of child-bearing age. High knowledge is expected of female university students but, in nonbiosciences this may not hold because of inadequate study of life sciences.
Objectives: To assess nutrition knowledge and effects of age, course of study and birth order of second to final year students of Madonna University Elele, in non-biological science disciplines. Methodology: Data were collected from engineering and computer science students using semi-structured questionnaire. Analysis was by frequency, percentage and SPSS version 20 statistical soft-ware.
Results: Students generally had fair nutrition knowledge (59.7%). Further, 10.1% of engineering and 3.2% of computer science students had very good knowledge. Students who were their families’ only daughters had the highest knowledge (9.1% had very good knowledge) followed by 1st daughters (7.1% had very good knowledge). Daughters who were the last offsprings had the least knowledge (1.6% had very good knowledge). Effect of age could not be determined due to low number between 25–29years age group.
Conclusions: Course of study impacted on nutrition knowledge. Careers in non-bioscience disciplines did not favour adequate nutrition knowledge. However, chemistry as an essential component of such courses could mitigate the knowledge deficiency. Birth order that exposed a child to household responsibilities favoured nutrition knowledge.

Keywords: Birth order, child-bearing age, neuro-developmental process, periconception
folic acid deficiency, women

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