Food intake pattern of public primary school children in Eleme local government area, River state, Nigeria
Background: The health of an individual is the bedrock for all of life\'s activities. A balanced diet which includes carbohydrates, proteins (macronutrients); fruits, cereals, and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), which are indispensable for the good condition of the skin and real beauty treatment from within. Hunger evokes restlessness, which is capable of affecting concentration thereby exerting an adverse effect on academic performance. Aim: To examine the food intake pattern of the public primary school pupils within Eleme Local Government Area. Methods: Seven schools were randomly selected. One hundred pupils from each of the schools were purposively selected as the participants of the study. A total of seven hundred male and female participants were selected for the study. A self-structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on their food intake. The data were analysed using simple statistics of frequency counts and percentages. Results: The study revealed that the nutritional pattern of the respondents centred on carbohydrate meals predominantly which is only one of the macronutrients. Two hundred out of a total of 700 respondents go to school without breakfast. A gross absence of micronutrients in their meals was observed. Conclusion: The study revealed that the nutritional pattern of the respondents was far from balanced or adequate. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations such as the creation of more awareness on the need to select food from the macro and micro nutrients groups to make up a balanced or adequate diet based on individual\'s socio- economic status among the pupils and the parents was made.
Port Harcourt Medical Journal Vol. 1 (3) 2007: pp.190-196
Manuscripts published do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board but that of the author(s).