Food taboos and associated factors among agro-pastoralist pregnant women: A community-based cross-sectional study in Eastern Ethiopia

Heliyon. 2022 Oct 5;8(10):e10923. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e10923. eCollection 2022 Oct.


In underdeveloped nations, cultural norms that are harmful to women's health, such as food taboos, are responsible for five to fifteen percent of pregnancy-related deaths. Food Taboo traditions prevent women from consuming particular foods, which reduces dietary diversity and food quality and may have detrimental nutritional effects. However, little is known about Ethiopia's dietary taboos and related issues. So, the purpose of this study was to find out how common food taboos are among pregnant women in agro pastoralist settings, as well as the accompanying factors. 636 pregnant women were enrolled in a community-based cross-sectional study using a two-stage cluster sampling strategy, distributed over seven clusters. Data were exported from Epi Data version 3.01 to Statistical Package for Social Science version 20 after being entered. The prevalence of dietary taboos in this study was 67.4% (95% CI: 63.7%, 71.1%). Food taboos were independently and significantly predicted by lack of formal education [AOR = 1.97 (95% CI: 1.583, 4.496), low wealth index [AOR = 2.26 (95% CI: 1.173, 4.353)], absence of antenatal care visits [AOR = 6.16 (95% CI: 4.996, 10.128), lack of knowledge of maternal nutrition [AOR = 4.94 (95% CI: 3.799, 8.748)], and negative attitude toward maternal nutrition [ In the research area, dietary taboos were very common. Food taboos were independently predicted by low wealth index, lack of maternity care visits, lack of formal education, ignorance of maternal nutrition, and unfavorable attitudes. Therefore, it is highly advised that strong community-based maternal nutrition education and counseling, raising women's income, and preparing young women for study in order to improve their educational standing be implemented.

Keywords: Agro-pastoralist area; Ethiopia; Food taboos; Pregnant women; Prevalence.