Impact of Community-Based Nutrition Education on Geophagic Behavior and Dietary Knowledge and Practices among Rural Women in Nakuru Town, Kenya: A Pilot Study

Sharon Iron-Segev*, Janerose Nasimiyu Lusweti, Elizabeth Kamau-Mbuthia, Aliza H. Stark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Geophagia, the deliberate consumption of rocks, soil, or clay, is prevalent in developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. Health risks associated with this behavior include parasitosis, heavy metal poisoning, nutrient deficiencies, and poor birth outcomes. This pilot study was designed to reduce geophagic practices and improve nutrition among rural Kenyan women. Methods: The researchers used snowball sampling to recruit participants (n = 135; aged 15–49 years) from low socioeconomic areas who consumed geophagic materials. Interviews were carried out before and after a nutrition intervention implemented by trained community health volunteers. Results: Nutrition education focusing on geophagia significantly (P <.001) decreased the practice in 77% of participants. Postintervention interviews also demonstrated substantial improvement in understanding the concept of making half the plate vegetables using the healthy plate model. Conclusions and Implications: Nutrition education can be useful for reducing geophagia (a largely ignored, unsafe dietary behavior) and enhancing nutritional knowledge in African women.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)408-414.e1
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior

Keywords

  • geophagia
  • nutrition education
  • women of reproductive age
  • women's dietary diversity score

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