This study aimed to identify the adequacy and differences in food and nutrient intake between pregnant and non-pregnant women in a rural community of Butajira district.
A cross-sectional study was conducted between July and August 2013. A total of 159 pregnant and 164 non-pregnant women participated in this study. Simple random sampling was used to select the study participants. An interactive multiple pass 24hr recall survey was used to assess food and nutrient intakes of the study participants.
There was no statistically significant difference in the mean dietary intake among pregnant (P) and non-pregnant(NP) women (p>0.05). All the macro and micronutrient intakes of the study participants were below the recommendations except for iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. The median difference for energy, protein, calcium, folate and zinc between P and NP women was 35.7kcal/day, 1.75g/day, 40.7mg/day, 11.2µg/day, and 0.92mg/day respectively. There was no difference in the mean intake of all the nutrients between P and NP women (p>0.05). Forty two percent of the pregnant mothers reported reduction in dietary intake after pregnancy due to food shortage, and also to the nature of food available.
We conclude that pregnant mothers in the rural community of Butajira district do not make any dietary intake adjustments during pregnancy. In food insecure areas, such as ours, nutritional counseling complemented with supplementary feeding programs could be key to ensure adequate dietary intake.