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Open AccessArticle

Food and Nutrition-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices among Reproductive-age Women in Marginalized Areas in Sri Lanka

1
Specialized Partnerships in Sustainable Food Systems and Food Sovereignty, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, University of Kassel, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany
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Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka
3
Department of Agricultural Systems, Faculty of Agriculture, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3985; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113985
Received: 11 May 2020 / Revised: 27 May 2020 / Accepted: 1 June 2020 / Published: 4 June 2020
Nutrient deficiencies are a public health problem in Sri Lanka. Achieving food security is a major challenge due to unhealthy eating patterns. The nutritional status of a woman and her knowledge is a powerful indicator of the nutritional security of her children and household food security. Nutrition-related knowledge and attitude are necessary for dietary changes towards a healthier dietary pattern. For that reason, food and nutrition-related Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) is one of the key factors to achieving household food and nutritional security. The main objective of this study is to assess the food and nutrition-related KAP among reproductive-age women and understanding of household food and nutritional security in Sri Lanka as an example for marginalized societies. Thus, a cross-sectional survey was conducted using the KAP model questionnaire administered on 400 reproductive age women (18–49 Years) in marginalized areas in Sri Lanka. Data were collected using a random sampling method. The research results clearly showed that the reproductive age women have a low level of nutritional knowledge in the areas being investigated. Most women have a positive attitude towards receiving nutritional knowledge but have low-level practice about a healthy diet. Furthermore, knowledge, practices, and attitudes of women largely affect their BMI status, as well as household food security. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to analyze the influential factors. There was a highly significant positive correlation between nutritional knowledge, attitude score, and BMI level and a significant difference was found in the area, age, family size, monthly income, educational level, attitudes towards nutrition, food and nutrition practices across the reproductive women (R2: 467, p < 0.01). The research results showed that KAP largely determines women’s nutrition and household food security. Based on the results of this research, there is a need to enhance nutritional education in reproductive-age women in marginalized areas in Sri Lanka. View Full-Text
Keywords: food-and nutrition-related knowledge; attitudes and practices; reproductive-age women; marginalized society; nutrition and health problems; food and nutrition security; Sri Lanka food-and nutrition-related knowledge; attitudes and practices; reproductive-age women; marginalized society; nutrition and health problems; food and nutrition security; Sri Lanka
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Weerasekara, P.C.; Withanachchi, C.R.; Ginigaddara, G.A.S.; Ploeger, A. Food and Nutrition-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices among Reproductive-age Women in Marginalized Areas in Sri Lanka. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3985.

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