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2012 (Vol. 4, Issue: 4)
Article Information:

Detary Practices and Nutrient Intakes of Pregnant Women in Accra, Ghana

Alice Koryo-Dabrah, Christina A. Nti and Richard Adanu
Corresponding Author:  Alice Koryo-Dabrah 

Key words:  Dietary practice, maternal health, nutrition, nutrient needs, pregnancy, socio-demographics,
Vol. 4 , (4): 358-365
Submitted Accepted Published
October 07, 2011 December 09, 2011 July 10, 2012

The aim of the study was to assess potential changes in dietary habits during pregnancy, nutrient intakes of pregnant women and the effect of socio-demographic factors on nutrient intakes of pregnant women. The research design was cross-sectional. A systematic random sampling technique was used to recruit 279 pregnant women from the antenatal clinic of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Osu Maternity Home in Accra. In-depth interviews were performed to assess perceptions and attitudes regarding food consumption and dietary habits during pregnancy. In addition, an interactive 24-h recall repeated for three days was used to obtain data on food and nutrient intakes of the women. Information on foods consumed was converted into quantitative data of nutrients using Ghana Food Composition Tables and FOOD PROCESSOR PLUS Software. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, 17). The mean energy, vitamin B12, folate, iron and zinc intakes were found to be inadequate compared with the Recommended Intakes. There was also a significant difference (p<0.001) in the mean intake of protein across the different trimesters. On the average protein, fat and carbohydrate contributed 13.2, 34.7 and 52.1%, respectively to total calories. Significant differences were observed between educational level and mean intake of protein (p<0.001), as well as income levels and mean intake of protein (p<0.001) and zinc (p<0.02). Surprisingly women with larger household size had high intake of energy and nutrients. Most of the women (67.7%) reported food craving, 57.3% practiced pica and 48.8% reported dietary restrictions during pregnancy. However no significant difference was found in nutrient intakes between women who reported food craving, food avoidance and pica and women who did not. In conclusion, pregnant women in the study had lower intake of energy and nutrients compared with the RNI. Food craving and aversion as well as pica practice are common dietary practices among pregnant women in the study. Protein and zinc are associated with income and educational levels of the pregnant women in the study. It is recommended that more attention should be focused on nutrition education and intervention programs during pregnancy as well as dietary approaches such as fortification of foods to increase both macronutrient and micronutrient intakes.
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  Cite this Reference:
Alice Koryo-Dabrah, Christina A. Nti and Richard Adanu, 2012. Detary Practices and Nutrient Intakes of Pregnant Women in Accra, Ghana.  Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 4(4): 358-365.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-0778
ISSN (Print):   2041-076X
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