KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES ASSOCIATED WITH MOTHERS’ FOOD CHOICES AT HOUSEHOLD LEVEL IN KIROMBE NORTH B CELL, ADYEL DIVISION, LIRA DISTRICT
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Introduction: Food choice is an important component of an individual’s diet and health. Though seemingly a simple task, the impacts of poor food choices made can be very devastating and long lasting such as development of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Objectives: The purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes associated with mothers’ food choices at household level in Kirombe North B cell, Lira district, Uganda so as to provide information for decision making on nutritional issues. Methods: A cross sectional study design was conducted involving both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitatively, interview administered questionnaires were used to obtain data from 340 mothers. The data was entered using Epi data software and analyzed using STATA. Descriptive statistics and cross tabulations were performed. Qualitatively, three focus group discussions involving 24 mothers were done. The qualitative data was analyzed based on thematic network analysis that involved grouping of the collected data under major themes. Results: Up to 18.5% of the mothers had poor knowledge on appropriate food choices, 51.5% had fair knowledge, and 30.0% had high knowledge on appropriate food choices. Up to 46.5% of the mothers had a positive attitude towards food choice. Income (76.2%) and availability (55%) are among the drivers of food choice in the cell. From the qualitative findings, mothers demonstrated generally good nutrition knowledge. Healthy eating was defined as consumption of food that promotes or maintains good health. Conclusion: There is fair to high knowledge on healthy food choices however the mothers made poor choices that were majorly driven by income, availability, taste, and preference. Poor food choices increase the risk of developing some illnesses and health conditions such as high blood pressure. Therefore, more efforts should be exerted on community sensitizations to increase awareness on healthy eating and appropriate food choices.