Effect of Mother's Nutritional Knowledge and Hygiene Practices on School-Going Adolescents Living in Dhaka City of Bangladesh

Indian J Community Med. 2022 Jul-Sep;47(3):391-395. doi: 10.4103/ijcm.ijcm_1240_21. Epub 2022 Oct 10.


Background: Adolescence which is a critical stage for growth and development is influenced by various issues along with maternal nutritional knowledge, control over their earnings, freedom of movement, and participation in household decision-making over child's health care.

Objective: This study focused on assessing mothers' nutritional knowledge and hygiene practices and their effect on dietary diversity as well as the nutritional status of school-going adolescents of Dhaka city.

Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted at 44 schools in Dhaka city. A total of 710 school-going adolescents aged 10-17 years were randomly selected and their mothers were interviewed for assessing their knowledge on nutrition and hygiene practices. One-way ANOVA and multivariate linear regression were used to examine the association between dietary diversity and the nutritional status of the adolescents with their mother's nutritional knowledge and hygiene practices.

Results: About one-third (35.8%) of the mothers maintained hygiene and sanitation satisfactorily. Although 53.1% of them had satisfactory general knowledge about a healthy diet, only 6.5% showed good knowledge of the nutritional value of food. The prevalence of stunting, thin, and overweight was 8, 4.6, and 5.8%, respectively. Fair hygiene practices were positively associated (P = 0.048) with height for age z-score. Maternal knowledge on the nutritional value of food was positively associated (P = 0.027) with the dietary diversity of the adolescents.

Conclusion: Adequate nutritional knowledge and hygiene practices of the mothers have positive effects on children's dietary diversity and nutritional status. Providing nutrition education to mothers would ensure better nutritional status and improved dietary practices for their children.

Keywords: Adolescent; Bangladesh; dietary diversity; hygiene practices; nutritional knowledge; nutritional status.