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Dietary intake and nutritional status of lactating mothers practicing urban agriculture in mwanamukia, a peri-urban area of nairobi metropolis

Author: 
Evayline M. Nkirigacha, Jasper K. Imungi and Michael W. Okoth
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

This study was designed as baseline for an intervention to assess the effect supplementation of urban agriculture by production of traditional leafy vegetables on the dietary intake of protein, energy, vitamin A, iron and zinc, and the nutritional status of mothers of 0 to 3 months postpartum. Lactating mothers are likely to be nutritionally vulnerable and their low food intake and the poor nutrition is likely to negatively impact on the nutrition of the weaning children, especially during the period of exclusive breastfeeding. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 260 of the lactating mothers living in Mwanamukia peri-urban area in the eastern Nairobi County. Using the local administration, the population of such mothers was enumerated and from the population, the sample was randomly selected. Then using structured and pre-tested questionnaire information was collected on socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics. A subsample of 53 mothers was randomly selected from the main sample and this was used to determine the dietary intake of protein, energy, vitamin A, iron and zinc in a 24-hour recall, and the nutrition status of the mothers. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 for descriptive data and Pearson correlation was used to determine associations. Results indicate that majority of the respondents fell within the age range of 36 – 40 years. On education, 44.6% had attained primary, while 16.8% had attained secondary. The household size ranged from 6 - 12 with average of 6 persons. The study further showed that majority of the respondents was from the lower socio-economic category. Most respondents had a high diverse diet, however dietary intake of vitamin A, iron and zinc were low, indicating unmet nutritional requirements. The nutritional status as determined by the BMI of majority of the respondents was underweight.

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