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Antioxidant are substances that counteract the actions of free radicals in the body and assist to prevent extreme broad spectrum of disease. The study was done to elicit information on the consumption pattern of antioxidant rich foods and anthropometry of middle aged adults (45-65) in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu state. A cross sectional survey design was done involving 399 adults. Structured questionnaire, weighing scale and standiometer were the instruments used for the data collection.  Information were collected on personal and socio-economic status of the adult, knowledge of anti-oxidant rich foods, consumption pattern of antioxidant rich foods, Anthropometric status of the adult, Association between knowledge of antioxidant rich food and their consumption by the adults was done using chi-square. Also, data on the association between consumption patterns of antioxidant rich foods and anthropometric status of the adults were elicited. The anthropometric measurements were taken using standard methods and were used to calculate Body Mass Index and the Waist-Hip ratio of the adults. Data was analysed using SPSS version 21, percentages, frequency, mean and standard deviation were employed for the data analysis. Result revealed that 50.4% of the adults were males and less than half (49.4%) of them were females. Majority (75.7%) of them aged between 55-66years. More than half (59.6%) of the adults had poor knowledge of anti-oxidant rich foods while 39.6% had good knowledge on antioxidant rich foods. Few (29.1%) of the adults ate fruits (banana, grapefruit, apple) occasionally, 28.6% of the adults ate vegetables once a day and 23.1% of the adults ate animal products twice a day. The consumption of grains was highest (33.6%) among adults who ate grains once a week and 43.4% of the adults consumed food additives occasionally and 28.3% of the adults consumed beverages occasionally. Less than half (44.6%) of the males were overweight, 39.1% had normal weight, 3.5% were underweight. Close to half (40.6%) of the female adults had normal weight, 2.0% were obese and none (0%) of the them were underweight. Majority (69.5%) of the females had low risk based on their WHR and 63.4% of the males were at moderate risk group. A positive association was found between the adults’ knowledge of antioxidant rich foods and their consumption of these antioxidant rich foods (p<0.05). There was a positive association between the adults, knowledge of antioxidant rich foods and their BMI. In conclusion, the result from the study indicated that good knowledge of antioxidant rich foods is imperative for adequate intake of those important food sources and for overall good health.


1.1.1    Statement of problem 3
1.1 2     Objectives of the study 5
1.1.3    Significant of the study 5

2.1      Concept of free Radicals 6
2.1.1 Sources of free radicals 6
2.1.2 Harmful roles of free radicals 8
2.1.3 Beneficial roles of free radicals 10
2.2 Concept of antioxidants 10
2.2.1 Factors that affect antioxidants contents of foods 12
2.2.2 Effects of processing 12
2.2.3 Effect of heat/cooking 13
2.3 Antioxidant nutrients and their functions 14
2.3.1 Antioxidant nutrients 15    Vitamin E 15      Vitamin C 16      Carotenoids 17      Selenium 18
2.4            Antioxidant rich foods 19
2.5           Anthropometry 25
2.5.1       Meaning of Anthropometry 25
2.5.2         Anthropometric measurements 26      Weight 26       Height 26       Body mass index (BMI) 26       Waist circumference 27       Hip circumference 27       Waist-hip ratio (WHR) 28
2.6             Adults 28
2.6.1          Middle aged adults 28

3.1    Study design 30
3.2    Study area 30  
3.3    Population of the study 31
3.4    Sampling and sampling techniques 31
3.4.1    Sample size 31
3.4.2    Sampling procedure 32
3.5    Preliminary activities 33
3.5.1    Preliminary visits 33
3.5.2    Training of research assistants 33
3.5.3    Informed consent 33
3.6    Data collection 33
3.6.1 Questionnaire administration 33
3.6.2    Interview 34
3.6.3    Anthropometric measurements 34
3.7    Data analysis 35
3.8    Statistical analysis 37

4.1    Personal Information and Socio-Economic Status of the Adults 38
4.2    Knowledge of antioxidant rich foods 41
4.3    Consumption pattern of antioxidant rich foods 44
4.4   Anthropometric status of respondents 46
4.5   Association between knowledge of antioxidant rich foods 47
4.6   Association between consumption patterns of antioxidant rich foods 49

5.1   Conclusion 50
5.2    Recommendations    50



Table 2.1:  Samples of some changes in antioxidant level during cooking. 13

Table 4.1:  Personal information and socio-economic status of the adults. 40           

Table 4.2:  Knowledge of antioxidant rich foods 43
Table 4.3:  Consumption pattern of antioxidant rich foods 45

Table 4.4:  Anthropometric status of the adults 47

Table 4.5:  Association between knowledge of antioxidant rich foods and their 48 consumption by the adults

Table 4.6:  Association between consumption patterns of antioxidant rich foods and anthropometric status of the adults 49 


Antioxidant is any substance that delays, prevents or removes oxidative damage to a large molecule (Halliwell, 2007) Oxidative reactions produce free radicals that can start multiply chain reactions that eventually cause damage or death to the cell. According to Turner (2002) antioxidants are phytochemicals produced by plants to fight against viruses, fungi and bacteria. They are substances that counteract the actions of free radicals in the body and assist to prevent extreme broad spectrum of disease (Ene-Obong, 2001). According to the United States Department of Agriculture, antioxidants remove free radicals from the body which can run rampant and actually damage cells, causing serious illness. It is a substance that when present at a low concentration compared with that of an oxidizable substrate, inhibits oxidation of the substrate (Halliwell and Gutteridge, 2007). 

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. The family of the free radicals generated from oxygen during energy production or oxidation (a normal physiological and metabolic process in the cell) is called reactive oxygen species (ROS) which cause damage to other molecules by extracting hydrogen ion from them or donating electrons to them in order to attain stability (Singh et al., 2009). Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. Antioxidants neutralize highly reactive, destructive compounds called free radicals or bio-oxidants whose production is actually a normal part of life and part of the equation of simply breathing in oxygen (Kendall, 2000).
Blomhoff (2005) reported that Plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants, such as glutathione, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E, as well as enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and various peroxidases. Animal cells have a much more limited de-novo antioxidant production (Blomhoff, 2005). Oxidative stress in any tissue results from an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their efficient removal by available antioxidant systems. Rahman et al. (2012) noted that when the concentration of ROS exceeds those of antioxidant neutralizing species, a condition known as oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress has been implicated in several diseases including atherosclerosis, cancer, malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease (Chaitanya et al., 2010). Oxidative damage can accumulate in animal cells when the critical balance between generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and antioxidant defense is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases (Talalay, 2000). Evidence from studies have shown oxidative stress to play an important role in the pathogenesis and development of metabolic syndrome related disorders such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia etc. as well as in cardiovascular related disease such as myocardial infarction, aortic valve stenosis, angina pectoris, atherosclerosis and heart failure (Polidori et al., 2004).                                                                                                 
The term, ‘Anthropometry’ refer to the comparative measurement of the body. Anthropometry measurements are a common criterion used for nutritional assessments and reliable tool for determining changes in nutritional status (Roszkowski, 2003). It is the measurement of the body parameters to indicated nutritional status. It involves physical measurement of weight, height, and body compartments of fat and lean tissue. The core element of anthropometry are weight, height for body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2), body circumferences (Waist, hip, and limbs), and skinfold thickness (Sebo et al., 2017). The body mass index (BMI) is a tool for indicating an adults proper weight, and is a criterion used for describing overweight and obesity. Anthropometric measurements can be used to detect moderate and severe forms of malnutrition both underweight and overweight. (Sebo et al., 2017).
Good consumption pattern is an essential part of good anthropometric status, healthy nutrition is an important factor in preventing many specific health problems that occur at older age (Ojofeitimi, 2009). An adult is a person who has reached maturity, has grown in size and strength and is within the ages of 18 to 60years (World Health Organization, (WHO), 2016 a). Ruka et al. (2005) reported that most adults do not have the necessary information regarding nutritional needs and diets. Poor food consumption pattern may lead to poor dietary intake which will definitely affect one’s nutritional status. The nutritional status of an adult is said to be good when the food supply is adequate and the individual is able to select, obtain and consume food that will meet the nutrient needs (Kuczmarski and Flegal, 2002).

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and cancers increase with age, and place a burden on individuals and healthcare systems (Troesch et al., 2015). According to the recent report of the World Health Organization (WHO), the global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has been rising over the last century, with the leading causes of disability being depression, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and certain cancers (WHO, 2017). The World Health Organization estimates that NCDs contribute 1.6 billion disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) to the global burden of disease and identified unhealthy diets as the main modifiable risk factors, together with excess alcohol and tobacco use (WHO, 2016 b). World Health Organization also reported that about 3.2 million deaths each year are attributed to unhealthy feeding (WHO, 2013). Modern lifestyles and easy access to high-energy, low-nutrient rich foods are considered part of the problem (Drewnowski, 2018; Mozaffarian et al., 2018). Inflammation and oxidative stress also appear to be key drivers for a number of cardiovascular diseases and the metabolic syndrome (Mozaffarian et al., 2018). 
Economic development and industrialization have led to changes in dietary habit in most of the world population especially in Nigeria. These changes have contributed to an increase in body mass in all groups, leading to a global crisis with significant consequences (World Health Organization (WHO) (2000). Consumption of processed foods has also increased rapidly in Nigeria, replacing use of natural, traditional, indigenous, culturally acceptable freshly cooked food. This has been pointed out as a risk factor for increasing obesity, as measured by Body Mass Index (BMI) among middle aged adults (Louzada et al., 2015) with greater intake of processed foods, meat, oil and vegetable fat as well as a low consumption of fruit, vegetables and cereals (Shimidhuber, 2006; Shetty, 2017). These aspects have contributed toward a greater prevalence of obesity and other non-communicable chronic diseases as well as higher disability and mortality rates especially those related to cardiovascular disease (WHO, 2007).
Considering that the dietary pattern has a strong influence on the development of many chronic diseases and that the oxidative stress seems to mediate part of this influence (Millen et al., 2005).  The study is designed to assess the consumption pattern of antioxidant rich foods and anthropometric status of middle aged adults (45-65 years) in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The main objective of the study is to elicit information on the consumption pattern of antioxidant rich foods and anthropometry by middle aged adults (45-65) in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria.

The specific objectives are to:

1 Assess the personal information and socio-economic status of the adults.

2 Assess the adult’s knowledge of antioxidant rich foods.

3 Assess the consumption patterns of antioxidant rich foods by the adults.

4 Assess the Anthropometric status of the adults.

5 Establish the association between knowledge of antioxidant rich food and their consumption by the adults.

6 Determine the association between consumption patterns of antioxidant rich foods and anthropometric status of the adults. 

This work will give an insight on the nutritional status of the population. It will allow for comparism between the anthropometric status and consumption pattern of antioxidants rich foods of adult in the study area. This will provide a fundamental data for nutritionist, public health workers, policy maker and advocacies of food and nutrition. It will also provide information which could be useful by the government in planning and executing programmes for the wellbeing of the adults. It will form a background data for the Dietitians, Community Nutritionists, Home economists and other Clinicians in the selection and modification of food for the adult.  

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