Diet and nutritional status of women living with HIV/aids in Nairobi, Kenya: The place of fermentation and germination technologies
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In Kenya, porridge typically made from cereal flours is a common meal for children and invalids (those living with HIV/AIDS included). Cereal porridges suffer from high dietary bulk as a consequence of their high starch content. The cereals also contain antinutritive substances which bind important micronutrients (zinc and iron) rendering them unavailable. Traditional food processing techniques, such as germination and fermentation have potential to modify starch content of cereals so that they do not thicken and therefore don't require dilution. Also, among many other benefits, the techniques have ability to increase bioavailability of zinc and iron. In light of the particular amenability of porridge to both fermentation and germination food technologies; this cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical study was carried out to provide a picture of the state of affairs regarding use of the two technologies in its preparation. A sample of 150 was drawn from a population of 2,895 IDV/AIDS positive persons, registered members of Kenya Network of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (KENWA). Anthropometric equipments, guided questionnaires and focus group guides were the main tools for data collection. Data were analyzed using SPSS computer software program. Majority (80%) of the respondents were from female-headed households with Many (63%) of the respondents having attained only primary level of education. The study established that porridge was the most widely consumed food within the study population, but the use of both germination and fermentation technology in porridge preparation was extremely low (3%). Dietary intake for all nutrients analyzed including total calorie, protein, iron and vitamin A was found to be inadequate, standing at 1674Kcal/day, 56.7g/day, 15.4mg/day and 2841lg/day respectively. Average total calorie intake indicated a shortfall of about 30% from the recommended daily intake level with a large proportion (83%) of the population recording inadequate intake. For protein, iron and vitamin A; 70%, 53.3% and 100% respondents were respectively found to be taking inadequate amounts from their diets. In the case of iron, the proportion of those with inadequate intake could be much higher when bioavailability of the mineral from cereal diets is taken into account. However, despite inadequate total energy intake levels recorded among the study respondents, the average BMI for the population was within normal range, being 22.4±0.37. In addition, 25% of the respondents were found to be overweight (none obese). From the study it was concluded that majority of the population prepared porridge simply by mixing fresh flour with water, then bringing it to boil. The use of germination and fermentation technologies in the making of porridge was very low (3%). Awareness campaigns to promote uptake of the two technologies in the preparation of porridge is recommended.
CitationDegree of Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition in the University of Nairobi
University of NairobiDepartment of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology
A dissertation submitted to the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition in the University of Nairobi