Nutritional awareness among secondary schools students in Maganjo – Wakiso district
Kusemererwa, David Oren
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Background: The age bracket of secondary school students is an important period of learning most of the behaviors including nutrition related behaviors as one gets independent. The emergence of under nutrition and over nutrition among school going children in Uganda correlates with nutritional awareness. This study was conducted to assess nutritional awareness through assessing nutrition knowledge, attitudes and dietary practices of secondary school students. Methods: A cross sectional study design was deployed. Face to face interviews using individualized questionnaires to probe nutritional awareness were used. A total of 196 out of 206 secondary school students in Maganjo-Kagoma and the neighboring areas all in Wakiso district participated in the study. Statistical methods used included means, standard deviations, frequency, percentages, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and chi square test. Statistical significance was set at P<0.05. Results: More than half of the participants (59.7%) were female and 40.4% (n=79) were male. A total of 34 participants (17.3%) had very good nutrition knowledge, 25.0% (n=49) had a good nutrition awareness, 32.1% (n=63) had an average nutritional knowledge and 21.9% (n=43) had a poor nutrition knowledge. The gender and age of the study population significantly associated with taking meals except snacks (P=0.019), eating fruits (P=0.023) and eating a balanced diet (P=0.015). Conclusions and recommendations: Promoting and creation of nutrition awareness among school age going children can have a positive impact on ending malnutrition.