SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC, HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF OLDER (> 50 Y) WOMEN FROM RURAL ZAMBIAN COMMUNITIES: A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY

U. Mukherjee, J. M. Chalwe, S. Mbambara, W. H. Oldewage-Theron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Socio-demographic factors and household food insecurity are considered to influence the nutritional status of older women. The rapidly growing elderly population in Africa is a concern particularly in sustaining their health and nutritional status. In spite of this, there is a scarcity of information in older Zambian women and this study aimed to assess the socio-demographic factors, nutritional status and household food insecurity status of older women in rural Zambian communities. This cross-sectional study was conducted in Twatasha compound of Kitwe and Ndeke community of Ndola. The socio-demographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, dietary intakes and household food security were evaluated in a convenience sample of 153 older women (> 50 years) through the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS). IBM SPSS version 26 was used for descriptive (frequencies, means and standard deviations, and medians with interquartile frequencies) and inferential (bivariate and Spearman correlations) statistical analyses. The socio-demographic characteristics showed that almost all (98.7%) of the participants had other members of the family residing with them. Most participants (57%) had attained primary school education, 19% had secondary education and 5% had college education. Almost half (49%) of the participants did not report their employment status and 36% reported to be unemployed. Over-nutrition was most prevalent (37.3% overweight and 39.8% obese) while 20.9 % and 2.0% of the respondents were normal weight and underweight respectively. The median (25th percentile; 75th percentile) dietary intakes showed inadequate intakes for most nutrients, except for carbohydrates (170 g [133;225]). The total fat intake represented 14% of total energy intake. The majority (86.0%) of the participants were identified as severely food insecure while only 6.0% were food secure. The majority of the participants (80-90%) used at least seven out of the nine behavioural responses to food insecurity. The findings show resource-poor and severely food insecure communities. We recommended urgent interventions to improve access to healthy foods (such as home gardening projects) and promote healthy dietary habits (including nutrition education).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18912-18931
Number of pages20
JournalAfrican Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Volume21
Issue number105
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Socio-demographics
  • Zambia
  • food insecurity
  • nutrition
  • post-menopausal

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