In spite of strategies that has been put in place to achieve the 5th millennium goal of improving maternal health, maternal malnutrition continues to be a global problem. Women in poor rural communities often consume diets deficient in energy and therefore many other nutrients.. Population studies indicate that kilocalorie intake is usually less than recommended and pregnant women often do not show a significant augmentation in nutrient intake. This study aimed to investigate maternal dietary intake in Kamagambo, South Western Kenya. Objectives of the study included determining socio-demographic factors, nutrient intake, and testing for relationships between variables. The study expected to find no significant relationship between nutrient intake, and socio-demographic characteristics. A longitudinal design was adopted and comprehensive sampling obtained a sample of 100 pregnant women for the study. Data was collected by structured questionnaires, 24- hour recall and food weighing technique. Data was analyzed by SPSS, Nutri-survey and descriptive statistics. Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient was used to test for significant relationships between variables, t test was used to test for significant difference between mean of nutrients. Pregnant women in this study consumed less calories than the value recommended as adequate. Most of the food nutrients did not meet the RDA. Diets had little variety with high repeatability of certain food items through the week. Most of the food energy came from carbohydrates which comprised the largest proportion of the women’s diet. There were no significant differences between 24 hour recall and observed intakes. The study fills the knowledge gap, and is of benefit to future research work, various government departments, local and international agencies, the community and pregnant women. The government and health and nutrition organizations need to monitor pregnant women more closely in order to provide counselling as well as nutritional support to pregnant women in this region.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN