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Assessment of nutritional status of pregnant women in a rural area in Sri Lanka

Authors:

A. M. N. T. Adikari ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About A. M. N. T.
Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture
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R. Sivakanesan,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About R.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine
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D. G. N. G. Wijesinghe,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About D. G. N. G.
Department of Food Science & Technology, Faculty of Agriculture
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C. Liyanage

University of Ruhuna, PO Box 70, Galle, LK
About C.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Maternal nutritional problems remain as one of the public health problems in Sri Lanka. This study was designed to assess the nutritional status of pregnant women in a rural area. A total of 133 pregnant women in their second trimester was recruited from Maternal and Child Health clinics. A pre-tested general assessment questionnaire, validated food frequency questionnaire and anthropometric measurements were used to collect information. Nutritional status was determined using Body Mass Index (BMI), weight-gain and haemoglobin levels. Nutrient intake data were compared with Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for pregnancy. The mean age of the study sample was 26.86±4.16 years. According to the pre-pregnancy BMI at the first visit to the clinic, 15, 44.4, 35.3 and 5.3 were underweight, normal, overweight and obese, respectively. Their mean weight gain during the second trimester was 2.71±2.23 kg that was below the recommended weight gain (4.84 kg). Out of the total, 24.57% had anaemia (<11 gdL-1). Mean daily intake of energy was 2472 kcal and percentages of energy from carbohydrate, protein and fat were 61.5, 12.2 and 26.3, respectively. Although mean daily dietary intake of protein (74.19±13.64 g) was above the RDA of 59 g/day, mean intakes of Ca; 844.9 mg, Fe; 16.5 mg, and folate; 420.9mg were below the RDA. The study concluded that underweight, overweight and low dietary nutrient intakes were nutritional problems of the study sample. Therefore, effective nutrition intervention should be directed towards pregnant women to improve maternal nutritional status.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v27i2.8168
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Published on 04 Jul 2016.
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