Good nutrition is important in promoting health and is dependent on quality of food eaten. Food choices are determined by many factors among the most important being nutrition knowledge and attitude towards nutrition. This study was therefore designed to assess nutritional knowledge and attitude, their associations on dietary practices and nutrition status of the primary School teachers within the Amasoma community. A semi-structured and previously pretested questionnaire was used to interview 384 primary School teachers from three primary Schools. The information collected included socio- demographic characteristic, nutrition knowledge, nutrition attitude, dietary practices and nutrition status. The data was analyzed using SPSS software package with the P value for statistical significance being set at <0.05. Pearson‟s Chi Square was used to test significance and associations between categorical variables. One way Anova was used between categorical and continous variables while Mann Whitney U test and Bivariate correlation was used between continuous variables.

The results showed that primary School teachers had average level of nutritional knowledge (54.1%) and exhibited positive attitude towards nutrition with average score of 47.1 out of a possible highest score of 60. The level of knowledge was significantly higher in Science teachers than Social Science teachers (p=0.000) and majority of the teachers (57.9%) identified school as the main source of nutrition information. On a 100 score scale the teachers mean on level of knowledge in macronutrients (56.3%) is higher than in micro nutrients knowledge (45.7%). The level of knowledge in both macro- nutrients (p= 0.004) and micro-nutrients (p= 0.001) is significantly higher in Science teachers than HSS teachers .
Most of the teachers (71.6%) exhibited normal nutritional status but prevalence of overweight and obesity was significantly higher in Social Science teachers compared to Science teachers (p=0.002).

Generally, teachers exhibited non optimal dietary practices. The average number of meals consumed in a day was three which is far below the recommended 5-6 meals inclusive of snacks. Fast food eateries (34.2%) and high sugar and highly refined cereal snacking products (41%) were most preferred by the teachers. The daily consumption of fruits (48.2%) and vegetables (44.1%) was low.

Further findings showed that there was no significant association between teachers nutrition knowledge and nutrition status (r= -0.032, p= 0.549) as well as between attitude of teachers and nutrition status (r=0.03, p=0.566). The study concluded that the teachers possessed average nutrition knowledge, positive attitude towards nutrition and normal nutritional status but had non-optimal dietary practices.

Development in nutrition science has continued to show a linkage between health and nutrition since the 20th century discovery on consequences of malnutrition (Gabra, 2001). Good nutrition is essential for growth, development and maintenance of health throughout life. Beyond negative impact malnutrition has on socio economic development, lack of sufficient foods and quality food undermines quality of health and the wellness of the population of all ages (Swaminathan, 2186). Malnutrition in women can lead to low productivity and increase future risks of poor maternal health which consequently increases the nation‟s health burden (KNBS and ICF Macro, 2010).

Urbanization in developing countries has brought challenges in food systems and markets. To cope with feeding the growing urban population, food markets have attracted provision of a wide range of convenient foods and this has affected individual‟s food choices and eating habits (FAO, 2010). A shift towards consumption of fast and convenient foods characterized by high sugars and fat has been on the rise. Consumption of these foods coupled with sedentary lifestyles has been implicated in overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular diseases. These conditions have previously been associated with the developed world but currently developing and less affluent nations have recorded increasing cases as well (FAO/WHO, 2003).

Studies in epidemiology show that changes in dietary practices over the recent past years have increased incidences of overweight, obesity, cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular related ailments (FAO/ WHO, 2003). Global nutrition transition has shifted dietary habits particularly in urban settings. Market systems have been infiltrated modernized convenient food culture leading to consumption of imported and processed foods some are highly refined, high in sugar, fats and salts. High consumption of these foods coupled with less physical activity greatly contribute to rising lifestyle chronic diseases even among young adults (Den Hartog et al 2006).

Poor dietary habits among the college teachers in Nigeria have been reported as a lifestyle challenge they face while in college. A study at Nigerian University indicated 96.33% of first year teachers exhibiting sub-optimal feeding habits. Unchecked poor dietary practices are likely to predispose them to overweight and obesity, risk factors associated with chronic lifestyle diseases (Wangeri et al, 2012). University nutrition education programmes have also based their priority on teachers pursuing nutrition or health related courses thereby closing out teachers from other courses, yet studies have shown teachers are not knowledgeable on their nutrient and diet requirements (O‟Deal and Abraham, 2001) but those with better knowledge have shown to possess normal nutrition status and positive attitude toward nutrition (Gates and De Lucia 2198).

Study findings indicate that primary school teachers eat with consciousness of their weight, appearance and beauty and this is likely to influence their food choices (Stice et al, 2002). Promotion of nutrition knowledge therefore play a key role in enhancing positive attitudes with focus to influence healthy dietary habits and consequently improved nutritional and health status. Burden of lifestyle diseases among young adults caused by risk factors such as overweight, obesity and physical inactivity can be reduced by raising knowledge levels on accurate nutrition information that focus on dietary behavior change (Worsely, 2002).

Primary schools and tertiary institutions present an opportunity as key avenues for promotion of nutrition and health to a large number of teachers. However, Nutrition education in tertiary institutions of learning has been limited to nutrition and health courses. The current upsurge of nutrition and health information from sources such as advertising mass media and peer interaction has greatly influenced public food choices sometimes negatively because some of this information is inaccurate not scientifically authenticated. This contributes to the increased confusion and poor dietary practices which can endanger health and wellness. Young people particularly when image conscious, they eat food with consciousness of wellbeing, desirable figure and good appearance. This perception is contributed by food conscious society that set unrealistic ideals about body weight and favors slim bodies. In the context of unreliable nutrition information they are likely to develop unhealthy dietary habits such as skipping meals, intake of high energy but low nutrient dense foods and alcohol which are known to impact negatively on health (Williams, 2186; Whitney and Rolfes, 2199).

Primary Schools selected contain a large female population with exposure to the same urban environment influences therefore they are representative of colleges within Amasoma community.

1.4.1 Main Objective

The main objective of the study was to assess the nutrition knowledge, nutrition attitude, predisposing factors, health implications of nutrition by primary School teachers between the ages of 21-40 years within Amasoma community.

1.4.2 Specific Objectives
1. To determine social demographic characteristic of the teachers.

2. To determine the nutrition knowledge of the teachers.

3. To determine the nutrition attitude of the teachers.

4. To determine the nutrition status of the teachers.

5. To assess the dietary practices of the teachers.

1. Nutrition knowledge of teachers is not associated with dietary practices and nutrition status.
2. Attitude of the teachers is not associated with dietary practices and nutrition status.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 62 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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