Nutrition knowledge and health vulnerability of mothers of pre-school children in northcentral, Nigeria

Bosede Alice Omachi*, Annette van Onselen, Unathi Kolanisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective This study explores the contribution of nutrition knowledge to the health status of pre-school children's mothers in Niger State, North-Central, Nigeria. Design The study is a descriptive cross-sectional design using a quantitative data collection method. Setting/participants A multi-stage sampling technique was used to recruit 450 mothers of pre-school children across Niger state, Nigeria. Chi-square and linear regression were used to test the level of statistical significance (at p < 0.05). Socioeconomic and demographic information, anthropometric indices and nutrition knowledge were obtained using semi-structured questionnaires. Feeding patterns were also assessed using a qualitative 7-day dietary recall. Result The results showed that the majority (63.8%) of the mothers were within 26-35 years, and more than half (51.6%) of the mothers lacked knowledge of a "balanced diet". Fruits, vegetables, and dairy products were the least consumed food group among the mothers (7.1% and 9.1%, respectively). Place of residence, occupation, and method of waste disposal were significantly associated with maternal minimum dietary diversity adequacy (p<0.05). Over half (57.6%) of the mothers were within the normal BMI range, and the mean waist/hip ratio was 0.82± 0.08. Social media/online was the most (36.4%) explored source of nutrition information among the mothers. This study shows no significant association between nutrition knowledge and adequacy of minimum dietary diversity among the mothers of preschool children (p = 0.09, χ2 = 13.682). Conclusion Dietary diversity among mothers was associated with the socioeconomic status and BMI of the mothers, which were strong determinants of meal quality and health outcomes in Nigeria and other developing countries experiencing food insecurity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0292252
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1 January
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


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