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Effect of nutrition intervention on awareness and food choices of mothers having children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd)

Author: 
Prabhakhar, A. and Narayanasamy, S.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

This study was carried out to assess the nutritional status of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) between 4 -12 years, based on their height, weight and to analyze their eating practices. The study also examined the impact of nutrition intervention on awareness and food choices of mothers having children with ADHD. This is a specific population study, conducted in a special school of Chennai city. The sample recruited for the given study consisted of 60 mothers having children with ADHD. The purposive sampling technique was adapted for the selection of the sample. The nutrition intervention was designed based on the height, weight, BMI percentile (NCHS-CDC)6 of children with ADHD and preference of food choices of their mothers. The choices made by them had low consumption of protective foods like fruits vegetables, pulses and eggs and high consumption of high fat, processed and fast foods. The investigator gathered the data from 60 mothers having children with ADHD using an interview based questionnaire at the baseline and also after the one month of the intervention. This tool consisted of 12 items targeting to assess the awareness about nutrition and preferences about food choices of the respondents. The intervention program involved group counseling form others and food display on packed lunch and healthy eating. The qualitative data was assessed using the content analysis for intervention (Scoring key for the questionnaire) and the quantitative data was analyzed by using SPSS software version 17. Results of the study revealed that, before the intervention children with ADHD were found to have weight imbalances and their mothers exhibited very little knowledge on nutrition and healthy food choices. Whereas post intervention, mothers showed a statistically significant increased awareness on nutrition and food selection when compared to the baseline data. However no significant change was observed in the weight of the children with ADHD. The nutrition intervention for mothers having children with ADHD had a significantly positive impact on their knowledge and food selection practices. The awareness and the knowledge about healthy food choices among the mother scan play a key role in managing the symptoms like hyperactivity or attention deficit. The study emphasizes the need of many such interventions in this area of nutrition and ADHD.

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