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Impact of nutrition education on knowledge level and haemoglobin status among adolescent girls

Author: 
Pattan Neeta and Dr. Usha Devi, C.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Adolescence is a key phase of human development. The rapid biological and psychosocial changes that take place during the second decade affect every aspect of adolescents’ lives. Thus growth spurts, menarche, poor diet and no added iron supplementation puts them into the high-risk category of iron deficiency anemia. Nutrition knowledge and nutrition education is considered a long term approach to combat iron deficiency and anaemia. Objective: Hence an effort made to assess the impact of nutrition education on knowledge level and heamoglobin status among the adolescent girls. Methods: A group of 138 adolescent girls in the age group of 13-16 years studying in 8th, 9th and 10th standard with mild to moderate anaemic status was selected from a Government school. A lecture for 45 minutes was delivered using visual aids followed by discussion and reassessment of knowledge after the nutrition education class. Such classes were conducted thrice a week for 3 months. To assess the nutrition knowledge level of respondents, a schedule of 50 questions was developed and the tool was administered thrice during the study period initial (before education), soon after the nutrition education and three months later. And the respondent’s heamoglobin level was assessed before and after the education intervention programme. Results: Education intervention showed a significant increase in the mean scores on knowledge level from 14.79 before the intervention to 31.38 immediately after the intervention. The improvement in the knowledge level among the respondents after education intervention was found to be significant as there was a shift in the knowledge level of respondents from inadequate (94 %) to moderate (52%) and adequate (25%) levels after the education intervention programme. There was a shift in the heamoglobin level from moderate to mild range among the respondents. Education intervention was found to be an effective method in improving the knowledge level among the respondents, which in turn helped in improving the heamoglobin status. Conclusion: Focused nutritional education intervention, correcting dietary habits in this group results in dietary changes and practices that ultimately improve the iron status.

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