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Awareness and factors associated with reported intake of folic acid-fortified flour among women of reproductive age in Ifakara, Morogoro region, Tanzania: a cross-sectional study
BMC Nutrition Pub Date : 2019-11-25 , DOI: 10.1186/s40795-019-0324-5
Ipyana Frank Mwandelile; Rose Mpembeni; Ahmed Abade; Susan F. Rumisha; Julius J. Massaga; Rogath Kishimba

Folic acid fortification of staple foods has been in place in many countries for over two decades. Studies have shown that folic acid fortification can significantly reduce incidence of neural tube defects. Tanzania adopted a mandatory fortification policy for commercially-produced wheat and maize flour in 2011. We determined factors influencing intake of folic acid-fortified flour among women of reproductive age (WRA). We conducted a cross-sectional study among WRA during March–April 2017 in Ifakara Town Council, Morogoro region. Multistage cluster sampling was used to select study participants. We used a questionnaire to capture information on demographics, awareness of folic acid, awareness of existence of folic acid fortified flour in community and intake of folic acid fortified flour. Intake was defined as reported consumption of folic acid fortified flour products at least once within 7 days before interview. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariable logistic analyses were done to evaluate factors associated with intake of folic acid fortified flour. The median age of the 698 participating WRA was 30 years (range: 18–49). Awareness of folic acid and folic acid fortified flour was 6.9% (95% CI: 5.2–9.0%) and 7.5% (95% CI: 5.7–9.6%), respectively. Consumption of folic acid fortified flour was 63.3% (95% CI: 59.7–66.8%). Independent factors associated with intake included being employed (aOR = 1.91; 95% CI: 1.19–3.06), having no children (nulliparity) (aOR = 2.59; 95% CI: 1.36–4.95) or having 1–4 children (aOR = 1.98; 95% CI: 1.17–3.33) (vs. 5 or more children), and folic acid awareness (aOR = 2.53; 95% CI: 1.30–4.92). Folic acid fortified flour was used by most respondents in our study despite low awareness of existence of folic acid fortified flour in the community. Being employed, having fewer than five children, and folic acid awareness were independent factors associated with intake. We recommend scaling up of mandatory flour fortification program and doing further studies on blood folate level among women of reproductive age in Ifakara to assess fortification program effectiveness.
更新日期:2020-04-22

 

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