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Product Code: 00007783

No of Pages: 223

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Nutritional status is an important component of nutritional care and state of health of any individual. This study examined the anthropometric indices and dietary intake of rural farmers in Nkanu West Local Government Area Enugu, State. A total of 330 rural farmers were purposively selected and used for the study. Questionnaire was used to collect data on dietary habit, dietary intake and anthropometric information of the farmers. Descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage) and mean and standard deviation were used for the analysis. Results showed that about 36.7% had 6-10 years of farming experience, 41.2% have had 1-2 hectares of land while 43.9% share communal land. Similarly, about 96.4% used human labour in farming. Some (67.6%) ate three times a day, 46.1% ate heavy at lunch, 59.1% consumed vegetables twice a week, 42.4% consumed biscuit, 30.9% consumed moi-moi while 57.1% consumed minerals (coke, fanta, sprite, 7up, etc) and 26.1% preferred garri and soup. Food selection on food frequency was based on locally produced food (plant products). BMI results showed that 3.0% of the farmers were underweight, 72.4% were normal, 22.4% were overweight and 2.1% were obese. The result further showed that the number of meals consumed a day had positive relationship with their waist circumference; including waist hip ratio. Therefore, it was concluded that lack of adequate dietary pattern may result in poor nutritional status of the farmers; this could pre-dispose the farmers to non-communicable diseases and poor productivity. The study recommended that nutrition education, healthy eating pattern and nutrition intervention among others be made available to rural farmers by the various levels of government and organization.


Title page                                                                                    




Table of contents                                                 

List of tables                                                     



1.1        Background of the study                                                                    1

1.2       Statement of the problem                                                                    5  

1.3        Objective of the study                                                                        6

1.3.1     General objective of the study                                                            6                                                                            

1.3.2    Specific objective of the study                                       6                                                                           

1.4        Significance of study                                                    7                                                                                     



2.1       Dietary intake                                                                8                                                                                                  

2.2.1    Usual food intake                                                           9                                                                                            

2.2.2    Frequency of food consumption                                  10                                                                  Food frequency questionnaire                                    10                                                                           Characteristics                                                10                                                                                      Advantages                                                      11                                                                                           Disadvantages                                                 11                                                                                          Weighed food intake                                       12                                                                                     24-hour recall'                                                 13                                                                                      Characteristics                                                 13                                                                                              Advantages                                                     13                                                                                                Disadvantages                                                                                  Energy and nutrients intake                                         14                                                                    

2.3        Guidelines for good dietary intake                             16                                                                      

2.3.1    Food guide pyramid                                                     16                                                                                     

2.3.2    The south African food based dietary guidelines (safbdg)                                                                                    18                                     

2.4       Factors that affect dietary intake among farmers        21                                                   

2.5       Anthropometric indices                                               27                                                                                 

2.5.1    Body weight measurement                                          29                                                                                   

2.5.2    Height measurement                                                    29                                                                                       

2.5.3    Body mass index                                                          29                                                                                       Limitations of BMI                                                      30

2.5.4 Waist Circumference measurement                                                                       325.5    Hip measurement                                                                                  32       

2.5.6    Waist hip ratio (WHR)                                                32



3.1        Study area                                                                   34

3.2        Study design                                                               35

3.3        Study population                                                         35

3.4        Sample size determination                                          36

3.5        Sample techniques                                                      37

3.6       Questionnaire                                                               37

3.7       Questionnaire pretesting and validation                      38

3.8       Training of research assistants                                     38

3.9       Data collection                                                             39

3.9.1    Anthropometric measurements                                    39              Height measurements                                     39              Weight measurement                                      40              Body mass index                                                                  40              Waist measurement                                         41              Hip circumference measurement                    41              Waist hip ratio (WHR)                                   41

3.10     Food consumption pattern                                           42

3.10.1   24-hours dietary recall                                                42

3.10.2  Food frequency questionnaire                                     42

3.11      Statistical analysis                                                      43



4.1:      Socio-demographic characteristics of the farmers      44

4.2:      Income generating activities of the farmers                                      52       

4.3:      Dietary habit of the farmers                                         53

4.4:      Food consumption pattern of the farmer using food frequency                                                                                 61

4.5:      Food consumption pattern of the farmer using 24-hour recall 85

4.6       Mean anthropometric indices of the farmers               92

4.7:      Relationship between dietary habit and body mass index of the farmers                                                                                                                                                                                95



5.1:      Conclusion                                                                 101

5.2:      Recommendations                                                     102













Dietary intake refers to the daily eating patterns of an individual, including specific foods and calories consumed and relative quantities. It has powerful factors for the health and wellbeing of any group of persons. It is a major modifiable and powerful element in promoting health, improving the quality of life, preventing and treating diseases. Nutritional status reflects the level of healthiness of any group of individual (Pinna, 2001). The balance between food intake and the expenditure by an organism determines the rate of growth, reproduction and health maintenance. A healthy diet is a pillar of wellbeing throughout lifespan. It promotes the achievement of pregnancy outcomes, supports normal growth, development and aging; helps to maintain weight, reduces chronic disease risks and promotes overall health and wellbeing (Pinna, 2001).

Consuming a healthy diet which is usually obtained from a wide variety of foods and beverages can be attained with good dietary pattern. When nutrient intakes are inadequate and nutrient reserves are depleted, malnutrition sets in, affecting the health and well-being of a group. Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a diet in which nutrients are either not enough or are too much that the diet cause health problems (Pinna, 2001). Malnutrition may increase risk of susceptibility to infection and chronic diseases; under-nutrition may lead to increased infection and decreases in physical and mental development while over-nutrition may lead to obesity as well as to metabolic syndrome such as diabetes (Pinna, 2001).

Nutritional status may be determined using direct methods of assessment such as anthropometric, clinical, and dietary and biochemical laboratory methods. Anthropometric method is a measurement of body height and weight, total skin fold thickness and arm circumference while dietary assessment is used to determine the nutrient intake of individuals or population group. These are then compared with recommended standards (Wardlaw et al., 2007). Anthropometric measurements are excellent first line of attack in determining nutrition status (Wardlaw et al., 2007). Dietary assessment is also a good approach to identifying nutrients that are likely to be either under or over consumed by an individual, and used for determining protein –energy malnutrition (PEM) (Wardlaw et al., 2007).

Farmers also called agriculturists are persons who engaged in agriculture, raising living organism for food or raw materials (Dwyer, 2007). They account for the greater part of the population of any developing country such as Nigeria. In Nigeria, farmers may own the farm land or may work as laborers on land owned by others (Dwyer, 2007). Traditional methods characterized by bush burning and hand tillage are mostly practiced by the farmers, these results in food shortage (Dwyer, 2007). In addition, there could be lack of arable land, adverse weather, low farming skills or lack of modern technology (Dwyer, 2007). The farmers may lack resources needed for higher yields found in modern agriculture such as fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation machinery and storage facilities (Dwyer, 2007). As a result of wide spread poverty, the rural farmers cannot afford the resources necessary to improve the local yields, thus, leading to poor infrastructure and inadequate basic amenities such as water and electricity (NDHS, 2013). These problems notwithstanding, adequate nutrition is necessary for the farmers to be fit, productive and capable of fulfilling their capabilities in life (Dwyer, 2007).

Anthropometry refers to the measurement of the human individual. An early tool of physical anthropology, it has been used for identification, for the purposes of understanding human physical variation and in various attempts to correlate physical with racial and psychological traits. Anthropometry involves the systematic measurement of the physical properties of the human body, primarily dimensional descriptors of body size and shape (Mosharraf, 2001).  Today, anthropometry plays an important role in industrial design, clothing design, ergonomics and architecture where statistical data about the distribution of body dimensions in the population are used to optimize products. Changes in lifestyles, nutrition, and ethnic composition of populations lead to changes in the distribution of body dimensions (e.g. the rise in obesity), and require regular updating of anthropometric data collections (Ganong, 2001).

Anthropometry is an easy, economical, effective, and reliable method that is useful as an initial screening tool for hypertension (Silva et al., 2013; Sanchez-Viveros et al., 2008). Various anthropometric indices that describe obesity and body fat distribution have been developed; these include the body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) (Silva  et al., 2013; Ganong, 2001).

A farmer also called an agriculturist is a person who is engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term usually applies to people who do some combination of raising field crops, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock. A farmer might own the farmed land or might work as a labourer on land owned by others, but in advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers, or farmhands. However, a farmer cold also be described as a person who promotes or improves the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention, land or crops or raises animals (as livestock or fish). They account for the greater part of the population of any developing country such as Nigeria. In Nigeria, farmers may own the farm land or may work as labourer on land owned by others. Traditional methods characterized by bush burning and hand tillage are mostly practiced by the farmers. These result in food shortage. In addition, there could be lack of arable land, adverse weather, low farming skills or lack of modern technology. The farmers may lack resources needed for higher yields found in modern agriculture such as fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation machinery and storage facilities. As a result of wide spread poverty, the rural farmers cannot afford the resources necessary to improve the local yields, especially in rural Nigeria, where majority of the farmers are noted for poor infrastructure and inadequate basic amenities such as water and electricity (NDHS, 2013).

Nutrition status refers to the availability of nutrients and calories in the individual's diet compared to nutrition recommendations for the individual's age group and overall health status (Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005).


Malnutrition is widespread in the entire country and rural areas are especially vulnerable to chronic food shortage, unbalanced nutrition, poor quality and high cost of food (Akinyele, 2009). According to UNICEF (2014), malnutrition and nutrition related diseases continue to be problems of public health importance in Nigeria. Underlying these problems of malnutrition is a number of issues such as poor maternal nutrition, poverty, inadequate health services and limited access to nutritious foods amongst others. The rural dwellers are mostly affected because most of them are subsistent farmers who may lack resources needed for higher yields found in modern agriculture such as fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation machinery and storage facilities. UNDP (2005) observed that out of 75% of Nigeria population living in the rural area, 65% who are poor were directly or indirectly linked with agricultural sector. Similarly, available statistics also showed that between 1961-2008, the average daily per capita calorie and protein intakes in Nigeria was still below the recommended daily consumption by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Nigeria (Ogundari, 2013b).


1.3.1 General objective of the study

The general objective of the study is to determine the anthropometric indices and dietary intake of rural farmers in Nkanu West Local Government Area, Enugu State.

1.3.2 Specific objective of the study

The specific objectives are to:-

1.     Determine the socio-economic status of the farmers.

2.     Evaluate dietary habit of the farmers.

3.     assess their dietary intake using retrospective approach of dietary assessment such as food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and 24 hour dietary recall.

4.     Assess the anthropometric indices of the farmers using anthropometric measurements such as weight, height, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference and waist-hip-ratio.

5.     Correlate their dietary intake with BMI, waist circumference and hip circumference.


This study document is intended to be a primary source of data for dietary habit and anthropometric information for policy makers. It will enable Ministry of Agriculture to diversify agriculture as to improve dietary diversity and nutritional outcomes. Information from this study will enable agricultural extension workers to better educate the farmers on the best farming methods that will improve rhe food yield. It will enable nutrition educators to encourage farmers to engage in homestead gardens for improved diet diversity, especially during dry season.

In addition, it will provide basis for the assessment of nutritional and health status; form the frame work for effective health policy guidelines for the Nutritionist, Dietitcians, Home economists in educating farmers in  south eastern Nigeria and other part of the country on healthy feeding habits. It will also suggest plans for maintaining normal body mass index (BMI) through adjustment in dietary pattern.




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