Influence of education levels of women on their feeding habits: A case of Nangabo Sub-county, Wakiso District, Uganda
Mwegereko, Rovincer Martha
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This research investigated the influence of education levels on the feeding habits of women in Nangabo Sub-county, Kyadondo County, Wakiso District in the Central Region of Uganda in the Buganda Kingdom. This research was carried out in 2008; and the purpose of this study was to establish how the education levels of women influenced their feeding habits. Investigation into the feeding habits of women was instigated by the unhygienic food conditions which prevailed in Nangabo Sub-county. Swarms of flies were a common sight on meat in butcheries and on fruits. In addition to this cooked food was prepared and sold in dirty food kiosks and in dusty and filthy places along the road sides. Despite such appalling conditions, people still bought the prepared food. Furthermore, eating of roasted meats, drinking of alcohol, overweight and obesity were common in many people in this area. This research focused on women since women play a vital role in the feeding of their families. It looked at three levels of education: women who had attained education at diploma level and above, women who had secondary education but had not reached diploma level, and women who did not have secondary education; including those who had not been to school at all. In order to gather more information on the feeding habits of women, medical persons from the two government health centers in the region and local council women leaders were also interviewed since these two groups were in common touch with the women in their areas; and thus they knew the problems which were faced by women in their area. The objectives of this research were: 1. To establish the feeding habits exhibited by women of different education levels. 2. To examine how the education levels of women influence their feeding habits. The study was carried out by using quantitative and qualitative approaches. The descriptive cross-section survey method was used to gather quantitative data and the interview, observation and document review methods were used to collect qualitative data. Sampling was done by simple and stratified randomization, and by purposive sampling. The data was collected by using the questionnaire, the interview schedules, the observation checklist and document review schedule. Data analysis involved establishing proportions and percentages; and then the relationships which existed between feeding habits and the knowledge which was acquired from formal education was determined by using Spearman’s Correlation Co-efficiency and Sp Rho=0.126 showed that the knowledge which was acquired from formal education did not play any significant role in the feeding habits of women in Nangabo Sub-county. The influence of education levels of women on their feeding habits was determined by using the Kruscal-Wallis test; and the findings (χ=19.860, P=0.000) showed that women of different education levels were significantly different in their feeding habits. The qualitative data was also analyzed by content analysis. Women of different education levels showed variation in regard to food choice, food procurement, the cultural influence on food and in their knowledge of the common nutrition diseases. From the findings it was recommended that in order to improve on the feeding habits of women in Nangabo Sub-county there was need to improve on food security, the methods of food procurement and on knowledge which is needed for proper feeding. This can be done through improved formal education as well as by informal education. Education up to senior four was recommended as good enough for proper feeding if it is properly imparted to students so that students can use the knowledge in their feeding habits at the end of their study.