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Tropentag, September 20 - 22, 2017 in Bonn

"Future Agriculture: Social-ecological transitions and bio-cultural shifts"

Factors Influencing the Nutritional Status of Women of Reproductive Age in Teso South Sub-County, Kenya

Erick Maina1, Samwel Mbugua1, Lydiah Waswa1, Michael Krawinkel2, Ernst-August Nuppenau3, Irmgard Jordan4, Elizabeth Kamau1

1Egerton University, Department of Human Nutrition, Kenya
2Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Inst. of Nutritional Science, Germany
3Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Inst. of Agricultural Policy and Market Research, Germany
4Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Center for International Development and Environmental Research, Germany


Introduction: In spite of the agricultural potential in rural areas, food insecurity and poor quality diets remain a challenge. These contribute to malnutrition, both under and overnutrition among women of reproductive age (18-49 years). This study aimed to investigate the factors influencing nutritional status of women of reproductive age in a rural setting in Western Kenya

Method: A cross sectional nutrition survey was conducted in May-June 2016 (pre-harvest season) targeting a random sample of 418 farm households with women and their children aged 6-59 months in Teso South Sub-County. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect socio-demographic and agricultural practices data. The 24-hour dietary recalls were used to assess the women's dietary intakes. The Minimum Dietary Diversity - Women (MDD-W) was calculated as indicator for dietary diversity. Food insecurity was measured using the Household Food Insecurity Experience Scale. The weight and height measurements were assessed to compute body mass index (BMI) of the women.

Results: Among the surveyed households, the prevalence of moderate and severe food insecurity was 23.4% and 46.4%, respectively. Mean (SD) women's dietary diversity score was 4.2 (1.24) out of 10 food groups. The most consumed food group was cereals (87.3%) followed by other vegetables (80.1%) and dark-green vegetables (65.0%) while the least consumed were nuts and seeds (4.8%). The proportion of women who achieved MDD-W was 43.6%. The prevalence of underweight and overweight/ obese was 10% and 22.2% respectively. Bivariate correlation analysis indicated that wealth index (r=0.79, p=0.117), kitchen gardening (r=-0.027, p=0.600), food insecurity (r= -0.063, p=0.218) and dietary diversity (r= -0.022, p=0.685) had no significant correlation with BMI of the women.

Conclusion: These results indicate that wealth index, kitchen gardening, food insecurity and dietary diversity do not have a significant influence on the nutrition status of women in Teso. This implies there may be other significant factors. There is need for further studies considering other variables which may show significant influence on the nutrition status of women in rural settings of Kenya.

Acknowledgement: This work was conducted with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, through the HealthyLAND project.

Keywords: Dietary diversity, food security, nutritional status, rural, women

Contact Address: Erick Maina, Egerton University, Department of Human Nutrition, Nakuru, Kenya, e-mail: ngimwae@gmail.com

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