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1.0                                                      INTRODUCTION

Nutrition is the science of food, nutrients and other substances, their action, interaction and balance in relation to health and disease and the processes by which the organism ingests, digests, absorbs transports, utilizes and excretes food substances.

The development of nutrition made food to be recognized as the fundamental source of nutrients. Food and nutrition are basic human rights because they are necessary for human development.

Malnutrition is the major contribution to illness and diseases in the world. This includes risk factors related to under nutrition, excess consumption of certain diet components (carbohydrates, fat, etc) and low consumption of other food items like fruits and vegetables. Rural dwellers food consumption pattern depends on many factors intervention into the life patterns of the community to which they belong. These factors affect food availability and how each food could be processed and stored.

Food consumption patterns can be defined as the recognizable ways of eating foods rural dwellers tend to adhere to their old eating patterns rather than venturing to seek new and more proper eating habits. In order to maintain healthful diets, a variety and balance of foods from all food groups and moderate consumption of all food items is very important.

Variety in diet implies choosing a number of different foods within any food group, rather than eating the "same old thing" day after day. Food consumption patterns has been observed to be influenced by socio-economic factors including sex, income, occupation, type of house and source of cooking energy, food consumption patterns of the mother prior to conception during pregnancy and lactation affects the reproductive cycle and health of the newborn infant. A mother with poor food consumption patterns has the risk of delivering a baby that is physically and mentally handicapped. Wright and Sims (1987) assert that many complex interacting systems affect man's food consumption pattern and his consequent state of health. They further explained that natural environment (climate, topography soil conditions etc) determines what food can be produced. The man made environment (technological developments for processing, storing and distribution of food) affects what food will be made available for consumption.

Proper and adequate food consumption patterns is the instrument for achieving other rural developmental goals, most especially those connected to reduction in child mortality and improvements in material health. Primary educational enrolment and achievement, gender equity and the capacity of resist disease, in order to be healthy and active women need to have food in adequate quantity, quality and variety in order to meet energy and nutrient. Consumption patterns of the mother prior to conception and during pregnancy and lactation affects the reproductive cycle and health of the newborn infant. A mother with poor food consumption patterns have the risk of delivery a baby that is physically and mentally handicapped.

Adequate food plays an important role in rural development activities. It ensures their capacity to embark on livelihood activities that is sustainable.

1.1 OBJECTIVES Broad Objective

·                    To assess the food consumption pattern and micro nutrient intake of mothers in Imo State Local Government Area Lagos.

Specific Objectives

·To assess the nutritional status of mothers in Imo State L.G.A

·                    To investigate, measure and assess the food pattern of mother in Imo State L.G.A.

·To assess the micronutrient intake of mothers in Ojo L.G.A. 1.3 JUSTIFICATION

Malnutrition remains an existing problem among Nigerians especially women and children. Malnutrition could be due to lack of food or socio-cultural factors of people. This study will throw light on the following

·                  It will add to our knowledge on the relationship between nutrition of people and the socio-economic characteristics of the people

·The actual or real causes of malnutrition in Nigeria.


1            What is pattern of women activity

2             What is the current food consumption pattern of mothers in Imo State L.G.A

3             What is the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of women in Imo State LGA.

4                 To determine the relationship between their food consumption patterns and their environmental health condition.


Malnutrition is a poor condition of health, caused by a lack of food or a lack of the right type of food. Many Nigerians are plagued with malnutrition. Malnourished Nigerians was as high as 24% in the rural area and 26% in the urban area.

It is important to know the reasons for the existing poor nutritional state of population could it be due to

1.                 Lack of nutritional awareness of the people

2.                  Un-availability of nutritional foods

3.                Thus this study will examine the food consumption patterns and micro nutrient intake of mothers in Imo State LGA Lagos.

1.5 Limitations of study

·                    Some of the questions asked in the questionnaires were felt to be personal like how much their annual income is

·                    Some of the women could not spare time to fill the questionnaires

·                    Some were illiterates and so could not understand the questionnaires


2.0                                                  Literature Review

It is generally accepted that the prevalence of malnutrition and of stunting among children in particular are reflective of the prevailing socio. Economic status in a given country.

Because malnutrition is well documented to adversely affect mental development, scholastic achievement, productivity, morbidity and mortality rates in children and women and the risk of infection, it is not surprising that nutritional status is one of the key millennium development goals stunting among children younger than 5 years varies from 20-40%.

Furthermore, micronutrient deficiencies are common, particularly among pregnant women and children. Estimates from 2000 indicate that 31 and 45 million children younger than 5 years were under weight and stunted respectively in Africa. Poverty and food insecurity are universally accepted as being the main contributory factors to malnutrition in both children and women who are the most vulnerable to dietary deficits. Two major outcomes of food insecurity are a chronic energy deficit and micro nutrient deficiencies these result in stunting and a range of micro nutrient deficiencies symptoms one of the major dietary constituents contributing to an energy deficit is due to low fat intake. While it is potentially harmful to have a high fat intake (particularly saturated fats) an intake

of less than 15% of daily energy intake can be regarded as being too low in terms of meeting an adequate energy intake.

This is particularly true for children who are unable to eat large quantities of carbohydrate and require more fat in the diet. Furthermore, fat soluble vitamins require an adequate fat intake to be absorbed in sufficient quantities. Hence a moderate fat intake which is low unsaturated fats and fortified with essential micro nutrients can contribute significantly to the health of vulnerable women and children.

Nutritionists and socially responsible food manufacturers have a difficult task in terms of health promotion in Africa. On the other hand there is the continuing burden of under nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and infectious diseases and on the other hand there is the growing burden of chronic diseases of lifestyle including obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. It is necessary to walk a fine line between promoting a high fat intake as a risk factor for chronic diseases in adults. More important still is the type of fat used in food products particularly in developing countries.

2.1 Problems of Malnutrition in Developing Countries

Malnutrition among women and children in a number of countries on all continents of the world has been so acute during the last few decades that the effects of this socio economic problem of human engenics cannot be ignored. Approximately half of the existing population has survived a period of serious nutritional deprivation during childhood and more than half of all the children in the world are at risk from the serious effects of malnutrition.

2.2 Status of Women in Nigeria

Poor, powerless and pregnant says the population crisis in 1998. One decisive factor determining not only family nutrition but also women's opportunities to satisfying their own basic needs, their status in a given society and the role they are expected to fulfill.

The priorities that women make concerning allocation of their own labour, their cash spending and distribution of food between the family members may not be depended on their access to and control of resources but also on the existing socio- cultural norms of women's role in society.

In general Nigerian women suffer de-facto discrimination and most often they have no say in their marriage and divorce. Their husbands or family members have traditional legal or de-facto control over them and the children. In many places women may not accept employment, engage in trading or even dispose off their own income without permission from their husbands or male family members. In many instance, widows have no right to inherit their deceased husband's properties unless sanctioned by the male family members (NEST, 1992) Several authors have discussed

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