Factors influencing dietary patterns in Mt Darwin: a rural population of Zimbabwe, 2013.
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Introduction: Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancer. CVD are increasing throughout the world and cause 16.7 million deaths each year. In Zimbabwe, hypertension is the top leading cause of outpatient chronic conditions and its proportion to the overall burden is 48.9%. In Mt Darwin hypertension (51.4%) remains the chronic condition with the highest burden. Eating a healthy diet such as high fruits and vegetables, low fat and low salt have been shown to substantially reduce CVD and increase quality of life. This study sought to determine factors influencing dietary patterns in Mt Darwin district. Methods: The study was an Analytic Cross Sectional study and the sample size was 350. Data was collected by an Interviewer Administered Questionnaire targeting people in Mt Darwin that are over the age of 18 years. Multistage sampling was done. Epi info version 3.5.1 was used to create frequencies and proportions were calculated as well as Odds ratios to determine associations. Multivariate Logistic regression analysis was done to identify independent risk factors and to control for confounding variables. Results: Three hundred and fifty (350) participants were included in the study. Being male or female [POR=3.97; 95% CI (2.28-6.89)], preferring fatty foods [POR= 2.1; 95% CI (1.11-3.99)], adding salt to served food [POR=0.42; 95% CI (0.26 -0.67)], boiling food as a method of preparation [POR=1.65; 95% CI (1.05-1.59)], and perceiving that a big body means one is healthy [POR=0.56; 95% CI (0.36-0.96)] were significantly associated with dietary patterns. Being male or female [AOR=0.23; 95% CI (0.13-0.40)], boiling food as a method of preparation [AOR=1.69; 95% CI (1.03-2.76)] and preferring fatty foods [AOR=2.56; 95% CI (1.29-5.06)], remained significant on logistic regression analysis. Conclusion and Recommendations: Unhealthy dietary patterns have been found to be prevalent in Mt Darwin, especially among women. Taste and food preference, and image and body size were factors influencing dietary patterns in this study. Health education messages of diet should encompass all social and cultural context issues around food, including correction of myths.
College of Health Sciences
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