Assessment of knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards healthy diet among mothers in Kaski, Nepal
Nepal has some of the highest under-nutrition rates, especially in children, of all low-income countries. Despite this we still have limited insight into the views and opinions of those feeding the children at risk of under-nutrition. Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about nutritious food mothers in one district in Nepal whose children are aged 3 to 5. Methods: A cross-sectional, community-based survey of 524 mothers in Kaski district of Nepal among children aged 36-60 months who are no longer breastfed at the time. The questionnaire included: socio-demographic measurements, knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about nutritious food, as well as child feeding patterns, food recommendation, major barriers, food insecurity and health-seeking behaviours. Data were added to a computer data base and analysed using SPSS . Results: There were more urban mothers (56%) than rural mothers (44%) in the survey. The mothers perceived major barriers to recommending nutritious foods to include: lack of knowledge (19%); high market prices (21%); and cultural influences or beliefs (7%). The study showed nearly 55% children were given fruit once a week. Almost 37% of mothers never gave meat, fish and eggs regularly to their children and 34% of mothers could not choose nutritious food from the grocery store, 12% of the respondents lacked food. The majority of children (57%) had been taken at least once to a spiritual healer for treatment and 16% more than once.
Conclusion: Both urban and rural mothers lacked knowledge of what food is nutritious or not whilst their attitudes and views appear ill informed.. .Mothers from both rural and urban communities have high faith in spiritual healers. Thus this study suggests that a different approach was needed because the public health problems are associated with behaviour. Thus, special attention should be paid on appropriate intervention of under-nutrition in poor communities like this