Food consumption patterns of Households and the nutritional Status of the under fives and Their mothers in Suneka division, Kisii central district
Orangi, E M
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A cross sectional and descriptive study was carried out in Suneka Division in Kisii Central District in the month of September and October 2002.0ver 360 households drawn from six sublocations were covered by the study. The study was a baseline survey aimed at determining food consumption patterns area and how they relate to the nutritional status of the households. A previously pre-tested questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-demographic characteristics of the households, food production, breastfeeding and weaning, morbidity, sanitation and food frequency. A twenty- four hour dietary recall was undertaken on a sub- sample of 40 households using instruments for weighing and measuring food. Focus group discussions involving community leaders and mothers were held in all six sub-locations to obtain information on consumption patterns. Indepth interviews were conducted with opinion leaders and observations were made to obtain information on dietary patterns and practices in the area. The results indicated that the females out numbered the males by 2.2% and 55.4% of the population were young (below 15 years of age). There was a high dependency ratio 1:18. Majority of the households were male headed. The education levels were low, majority of the population had only a few years of primary education. Farm sizes were small with a mean of 1.5 acres per household and this is where household food were produced. The main occupation of the people in the area was small scale farming and only 4.8% were salaried workers. Morbidity was high among the children. The incidence of malaria was 50.5%, diarrhea 41.3% and coughing 61.5% during four weeks preceding the survey. XI Water for use though rarely treated was abundantly available in the area. Most households had pit latrines for human waste disposal .. Food consumption patterns showed a limited variety in the foods consumed. Most of the meals consisted of ugali and dark green vegetables with occasional milk, fish or meat when available. No importance was attached to the consumption of fruits. The meals provided calories slightly below the Recommended Dietary Requirements (RDA's) but proteins, iron and zinc intake were above the RDA's. The results indicated that 38.2% of the children were stunted, 35.4% were underweight and 16.6% were wasted. Only 9.5% of the mothers were underweight. The study indicated that there is a relationship between the food consumption patterns and the nutritional status of mothers and the under fives.