Impact of Education on Knowledge of Women Regarding Food Intake During Pregnancy: A Hospital Based Study
Objective: To assess the nutritional knowledge of pregnant women about food intake during pregnancy and to find out association between education level and nutritional knowledge.
Methods: It was a cross-sectional study performed in Obstetrics and gynaecology outpatient department of private tertiary care centre Liaquat College of Medicine and Density and Darul-Sehat hospital from June 2016 to December 2016. The study was conducted among pregnant ladies who visited the antenatal clinics where they were interviewed regarding food intake and nutritional requirement in pregnancy using a pretested questionnaire. Their knowledge was then score into good, average and poor and then relation with educational level was calculated.
Results: A total of 372 pregnant women with age range of 17-38 years and mean age of 27.45 ± 7.24 years were anticipated. The result showed that majority of the patients (213/372) 57% have some knowledge about increase requirement of food intake in pregnancy and (189/372) 50% had knowledge of increased iron intake. Limited knowledge of pregnant women regarding increase in water requirement is surprising. The misconceptions of hot and cold properties of food still exist in our society with a fear of abortion and contribute to avoidance of some important nutrition from diet during pregnancy.
Those with education level of graduation were more knowledgeable and study also pointed towards direct association with socioeconomic status.
Conclusion: The awareness regarding the increase intake of food and iron supplementation is sub optimal in our community and need better augmented campaigns and awareness programs. However there is strong co relation between educational level and information.