Factors associated with dietary practices and nutritional status among pregnant women in Wondo Genet district

Factors associated with dietary practices and nutritional status among pregnant women in Wondo Genet district

Malnutrition is a serious public health problem linked to increase in the risk of mortality and morbidity (Blossner and de Onis, 2005). Women and young children are most affected. Diets that are deficient in macro and micronutrients place people at risk of malnutrition. A total of 925 million people were undernourished in 2010 worldwide (FAO, 2010).

Pregnancy is a critical period for meeting the body’s demand for macro and micronutrients (West, 2002; Mason et al., 2001). Pregnancy increases energy needs by 13 per cent, protein by 54 per cent and vitamin and mineral by 0-50 per cent. In developing countries, poor nutritional status in pregnancy accounts for 14 per cent of foetuses with IUGR, maternal stunting may account for a further 18.5 per cent (ACC/SCN, 2000). In Ethiopia, 50 per cent of the population cannot meet their daily minimum energy requirement of 2200 calories (MOPED, 1999), 871 and 673 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2000 and 2005, respectively. Rural women are more likely to suffer from CED than women in urban areas (Teller and Yimar, 2000). Filling the gap in knowledge of maternal under nutrition and generating information for intervention is important to maternal nutritional during pregnancy.

This study aims to assess dietary practices, nutritional status and associated factors among pregnant women in Wondo Genet district, Sidama Zone, South Ethiopa. Specific objectives of the study are to:

  • explore dietary practices of mothers during pregnancy
  • identify the factors associated with nutritional status of pregnant women
  • investigate the factors associated with sub-optimal dietary practices of pregnant women

The study reveals that factors associated with nutritional status and dietary practices among pregnant women are number of pregnancies, consumption of cereal foods, household size, growing ‘khat’ and vegetables. Energy and most of the nutrients intakes of pregnant women are lower than recommended intakes. Dietary practices and nutritional status are not adequate to support their increased energy and nutrient requirement.

Furthermore, the nutritional status and dietary practices of pregnant women in rural community of the Wondo Genet district are not adequate and optimal to support the increased energy and nutrient requirement of the pregnant women.