Nutrition Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of fruit consumption among school going children aged 9 to 11 years in urban primary schools in Kampala District
Kimuli, Musaazi John Francis
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Background: Low fruit consumption globally has resulted in micronutrient deficiencies like iron deficiency anemia, Vitamin A deficiency, folate, iodine and zinc deficiencies which have become a public health concern and chronic, non communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, CVDs and cancer. This study was conducted to assess the nutrition KAP of fruit consumption among school going children aged 9 to 11 years in urban primary schools in Kampala district. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted and data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire administered by an interviewer which was done online to children aged 9 to 11 years. Fruit diversity and levels of consumption was assessed using food frequency questionnaire. The questionnaire also had a section assessing nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices on fruit consumption of the preadolescents. The data was collected from a sample of 75 children which was then analyzed using IBM SPSS Version 25 and Microsoft Excel softwares to obtain frequencies, means and correlations. Results: Regarding nutrition practices, the types of fruits consumed daily and weekly among school going children were tropical and citrus fruits. Pome or stone fruits, berries and grapes were the least consumed types of fruits daily and weekly. Although majority of the children (69.3%) reported consuming fruits 1-2 times in a day, the mean servings of fruits per day for all the school going children was 2.37±1.47 which was significantly lower (p<0.001) than the USDA recommendations of 3 servings . However, most children (74.7%) did not meet their daily recommendations for fruit consumption. Majority of the children had knowledge on the health benefits of fruit consumption (66.7%) while 77.3% had knowledge on the forms in which fruits should be consumed. Majority of the children (74.7%) had a positive attitude towards fruit juice with pulp, strained and sweetened with added sugar while 25.3% had a positive attitude towards fruit juice with pulp, unstrained and not sweetened with added sugar. Conclusion: Although the preadolescents were consuming fruits which were diverse, they did not meet the daily recommended servings of fruits. Majority of the children were knowledgeable on the health benefits of fruits and had positive attitude towards forms in which fruits should be consumed.