Sources of nutrition information and nutritional knowledge among school-going adolescents in Bangladesh

Elsevier, Public Health in Practice, Volume 1, November 2020
Authors: 
Kundu S., Khan M.S.I., Bakchi J., Sayeed A., Banna M.H.A., Begum M.R. et al.

Objectives: The increasing prevalence of malnutrition among school-going adolescents is a major public health threat in Bangladesh. School studying adolescents are a crucial group suffering from malnutrition. Proper nutrition information can enrich their knowledge, promote their health and also minimize the burden of malnutrition. The study aimed to identify the sources of information and corresponding knowledge level on nutrition among school-going adolescents in Bangladesh. Study design: A school-based cross-sectional survey was carried out from January to August 2019. Methods: A pre-structured questionnaire having 13 validated questions regarding facts panel of packaged food and daily dietary habits was used to assess the knowledge. Scores on nutritional knowledge were calculated by summing up the answer values (Yes ​= ​1, No ​= ​0) and, scores below the overall mean were considered low. Logistic regression was employed to identify whether any source was related to respondents’ nutritional knowledge. Results: Family members were the most popular (52.4%) source of nutrition information. Majority students (43.2%) trusted professionals as an accurate source. Approximately half (49.1%) of the participants scored low (<9.34) in basic nutrition knowledge assessment. Participants seeking information from family members (AOR: 0.693; 95% CI: 0.555–0.866, p ​< ​0.05) and online resources (AOR: 0.826, 95% CI: 0.710–0.962, p ​< ​0.05) were less likely to obtain low scores than those not favored the sources. Conclusion: Knowledge about essential nutrition among school-going adolescents was quite low. The findings of this study are useful to the policymakers to develop and design interventions to improve adolescents’ knowledge of nutrition. A school-based nutrition awareness program can be introduced to reduce malnutrition among adolescents in Bangladesh.