Food Habits, Nutrition Knowledge and Nutrient Intakes of Adolescent Students in Selected Boarding Schools in Ghana

ABSTRACT

The eating habits, nutrient intakes and nutrition knowledge of one hundred and forty adolescent students from four secondary schools in the central region of Ghana were investigated. Instruments used for the data collection included questionnaires, food records, anthropometric measurements and observations. Data obtained were analysed using a computer and descriptive analysis was used to present the data. Jellife's anthropometric reference data, Kaufman's weight classification and Body Mass Index (BMI) were used to classify respondents as obese, overweight, normal or underweight. The sample was made up of 52% females and 48% males. Their mean age was sixteen years and most of their parents were highly educated and gainfully employed. Eating habits found to affect nutrient intakes of the respondents include breakfast skipping and snacking. Drug-related habits like alcohol intake was also found among a few. The majority of respondents were taking nutrient supplements. Nutrition knowledge was generally poor. Meals served in the dining halls of all the schools studied did not meet the energy requirements of the adolescents. Even when the respondents supplemented the dining hall meals with extras from elsewhere, the calories obtained were still below the FAO recommended nutrient intakes, especially for the 16 to 18 year old males. The weights of the majority of this age group was below that of Jellifes' reference group. The growth performance of the majority of the students was poor. Respondents were getting one-third of their daily nutrient intakes from extra foods eaten outside the dining hall. There were occurrences of underweight and overweight. The findings of the study strongly urge school authorities to ensure that meals provided for students are well prepared and served injsufficient quantities. Fly proof nets should also be used in the kitchens. There is also no doubt that nutrition knowledge of adolescents should be improved in order that they would make proper food choices. Food vendors on the school campuses must be screened and supervised so that food bought is wholesome. Education on dangers of drug-related habits like alcohol consumption should be intensified, to forestall the spread of the habit among the adolescents. Parents would either have to agree to pay a higher amount of fees for the improvement of meals in the schools or continue to provide extra food and more pocket money for their wards if they must be well nourished. Schools should intensify their agricultural activities and make school farms where some of the food commodities could be obtained.

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APA

HEVI, E (2021). Food Habits, Nutrition Knowledge and Nutrient Intakes of Adolescent Students in Selected Boarding Schools in Ghana. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/food-habits-nutrition-knowledge-and-nutrient-intakes-of-adolescent-students-in-selected-boarding-schools-in-ghana

MLA 8th

HEVI, EILEEN "Food Habits, Nutrition Knowledge and Nutrient Intakes of Adolescent Students in Selected Boarding Schools in Ghana" Afribary. Afribary, 06 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/food-habits-nutrition-knowledge-and-nutrient-intakes-of-adolescent-students-in-selected-boarding-schools-in-ghana. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

MLA7

HEVI, EILEEN . "Food Habits, Nutrition Knowledge and Nutrient Intakes of Adolescent Students in Selected Boarding Schools in Ghana". Afribary, Afribary, 06 Apr. 2021. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/food-habits-nutrition-knowledge-and-nutrient-intakes-of-adolescent-students-in-selected-boarding-schools-in-ghana >.

Chicago

HEVI, EILEEN . "Food Habits, Nutrition Knowledge and Nutrient Intakes of Adolescent Students in Selected Boarding Schools in Ghana" Afribary (2021). Accessed April 21, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/food-habits-nutrition-knowledge-and-nutrient-intakes-of-adolescent-students-in-selected-boarding-schools-in-ghana