Health Seeking Behaviour, Food Habit and Nutritional Assessment of an Elderly Group in Ile Ife, Nigeria
- *Corresponding Author:
- Deji Samson Ayo
Department of Community Health
Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Ile Ife, Nigeria
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: March 30, 2013; Accepted date: May 09, 2013; Published date: May 11, 2013
Citation: Olasunbo OI, Ayo DS (2013) Health Seeking Behaviour, Food Habit and Nutritional Assessment of an Elderly Group in Ile Ife, Nigeria. J Community Med Health Educ 3:224. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000224
Copyright: © 2013 Olasunbo OI, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Health behaviour is a set of actions taken to protect, promote and maintain the health of an individual. In this study, health behaviour, food habit and nutrition were assessed using various heaths, socioeconomic and anthropometric indices. Through the use of multistage sampling procedures, 200 elders were studied at Ife Central Local Government. There was a validation of the semi-structured questionnaire and a checklist for screening malnutrition. Each item was scored one point where the respondent was vulnerable in regard to that item. The scores thus showed the degree of vulnerability, i.e., the higher the score, the vulnerable the person is likely to be. In interpreting, the score of the respondent, the standard of the nutrition screening initiative was adopted where 10% was regarded as not vulnerable, 10–30% as moderately vulnerable, and greater than 30% as highly vulnerable. There were records of data from the questionnaire using SPSS version 16 (Statistical Package for Social Science data Management Company) software. For data analysis, the SPSS software was used. The results revealed health behaviours included going for medical check-ups (38%) the use of quality drugs (70%) and a preference for traditional medicine (28%). Food habit divulges the fact that 63% eat thrice daily; 50% buy food from vendors and 94% have favourite foods. Factors such as nutrition knowledge and body mass index (BMI) correlated significantly with health behaviour (p<0.05). The mean nutritional vulnerability score was higher for women than men (p<0.05). The most vulnerable elders were those that patronised traditional health facility, fell sick weekly and had inconsistent access to food.