Household’s knowledge, attitude and food handling practices, consumption of traditional fermented milk and risk factors for adult overweight and obesity in Isiolo central sub county
Several communities’ process traditional fermented milk but there is insufficient information on the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) related to food handling among households that produce and those that do not produce traditional fermented milk. Studies on milk consumption have linked fermented milk consumption to reducing the risk of obesity and overweight among several populations. The general objective of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and food handling practices among households that produce and those that do not produce traditional fermented milk and to establish the risk factors for adult overweight and obesity in Isiolo central sub county. A cross-sectional survey was carried out among households in an emerging peri-urban town in the Northern part of Kenya in January 2016. A two stage multi-cluster sampling was used to select 5 Sub-locations and 25 villages from the sampling frame. A pretested semi structured interview questionnaire was used to collect data from 423 households. Data was analysed for descriptive and inferential statistics. The prevalence of households involved in the cultural production of traditional fermented milk was 13.8%. The combined average mean knowledge, attitude and practice scores on food handling for household’s that produced and those that did not produce traditional fermented milk was 56.9+17.6%, 69.8+20.2% and 57.7+16.9% respectively. However, the study found households that did not produce traditional fermented milk scored highly on the knowledge and practices items related to food handling compared to households that produced traditional fermented milk. Further analysis on the socio-demographic characteristics associated with knowledge, attitude and practices on food handling showed significant association between age, gender, residency and the educational status of study adults. About 49.6% of adults consumed traditional fermented milk, findings on the nutritional status showed that less than half (48.6%) of adults had normal BMI scores. The prevalence of adult underweight, overweight and obesity was 21%, 18.7% and 11% respectively. In subsequent binary logistic regression analysis, female gender and households from a higher wealth index were significantly at risk of adult overweight and obesity. Rural residency, lower educational status, fewer household members and adults who did not consume pork, sausages, fish, lentils, peas, chapatti and vegetables emerged as protective factors against overweight and obesity in the study population. The study findings indicate that age, gender, residency and educational status are significantly associated with knowledge, attitude and food handling practices. The study findings also establish sociodemographic and dietary patterns as protective factors for adult overweight and obesity. Households need to adhere to basic hygiene principles to prevent food contamination during the preparation and cooking process while adults are encouraged to change their lifestyles by limiting the consumption of diets high in sugar, fat, salt and decrease sedentary lifestyles.