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Effectiveness of nutrition and health education among self help group women

Author: 
Padmapriya, T. and Dr. Lakshmi, U. K.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Woman is the central figure who provides the child care, hygiene, nutrition and even primary health care among families. The health and nutritional status of women are at large very critical and various strategies are being adopted to improve the condition. One of the best agency through which women’s status can be improved is Self Help Groups. Three hundred Self Help Group women aged between 30-40 years were selected randomly from Karamadai Block of Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu and divided equally into two groups – Experimental and Control group. Socio-economic status, dietary background and nutritional knowledge of all the women were assessed. Anthropometric parameters such as height, weight, BMI and Waist Hip Ratio were measured using standardized procedures. They were clinically examined for signs of various nutritional deficiencies. Haemoglobin levels were also estimated to identify the prevalence of anaemia. Based on the results and the reports from PHC centres a Nutrition and Health Education Programme was planned and imparted to the Experimental group for a period of three months through demonstrations, exhibitions, lectures and leaflets,. The evaluation of nutrition and health education was done through a structured questionnaire administered before and after nutrition education about their knowledge, attitude and practices. The data revealed that majority of the women belonged to lower socioeconomic status and their dietary practices were not satisfactory. Clinical signs and symptoms of nutritional deficiency were also prevalent. Mean haemoglobin levels were below normal (10g/dl) among many women indicating anaemic status. Nutrition education showed a positive effect in the experimental group. It is suggested that there is a great need for proper selection and intake of foods in the daily dietaries which can be achieved by changing their attitudes towards proper consumption through nutrition and health education. Long term intervention strategies are the need of the hour.

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