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      Nutrition Education Improves Knowledge of Iron and Iron-Rich Food Intake Practices among Young Adolescents: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial


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          Nutrition education targeting adolescents' health has the potential to enhance their well-being into adulthood. This study assessed the impact of nutrition education on the knowledge of iron and iron-rich food intake practices of adolescents living in rural communities in Ghana.


          An intervention study was conducted among 137 adolescents; 69 were assigned to the intervention group and 68 to the control group. Participants and guardians in the intervention group were involved in the nutrition education programme for six months. Participants in both groups completed sociodemographic, knowledge of iron, and iron-rich food intake practice questionnaires at pre- and postintervention. Data were analyzed by chi-square and t-tests.


          At postintervention, the mean knowledge score ( p < 0.05) in the intervention group and control group was 5.3 ± 1.7 and 3.9 ± 1.9, respectively. Interventions (76%) and controls (46%) had good knowledge status. The mean knowledge score of participants with good knowledge status in the intervention group was 6.1 ± 0.8 ( p < 0.05), and the control group was 5.6 ± 0.7 ( p < 0.05). Forty-two percent of participants in the interventions and 26% in the controls had good food intake status. Participants with good food intake status had mean food intake scores of 3.2 ± 0.4 ( p < 0.05) and 3.8 ± 0.7 ( p < 0.05) for the intervention and control groups, respectively. Both groups increased and had the same mean food intake score (1.5 ± 1.4, p > 0.05), however, relatively higher in the intervention group.


          Nutrition education improved the knowledge of iron and iron-rich food intake practices of participants in the intervention group compared to the control group. Nutrition education should be a critical component in the management and prevention of micronutrient deficiency in adolescents.

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          Iron deficiency and cognitive achievement among school-aged children and adolescents in the United States.

          Iron deficiency anemia in infants can cause developmental problems. However, the relationship between iron status and cognitive achievement in older children is less clear. To investigate the relationship between iron deficiency and cognitive test scores among a nationally representative sample of school-aged children and adolescents. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III 1988-1994 provides cross-sectional data for children 6 to 16 years old and contains measures of iron status including transferrin saturation, free erythrocyte protoporphyrin, and serum ferritin. Children were considered iron-deficient if any 2 of these values were abnormal for age and gender, and standard hemoglobin values were used to detect anemia. Scores from standardized tests were compared for children with normal iron status, iron deficiency without anemia, and iron deficiency with anemia. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association of iron status and below average test scores, controlling for confounding factors. Among the 5398 children in the sample, 3% were iron-deficient. The prevalence of iron deficiency was highest among adolescent girls (8.7%). Average math scores were lower for children with iron deficiency with and without anemia, compared with children with normal iron status (86.4 and 87.4 vs 93.7). By logistic regression, children with iron deficiency had greater than twice the risk of scoring below average in math than did children with normal iron status (odds ratio: 2.3; 95% confidence interval: 1.1-4.4). This elevated risk was present even for iron-deficient children without anemia (odds ratio: 2.4; 95% confidence interval: 1.1-5.2). We demonstrated lower standardized math scores among iron-deficient school-aged children and adolescents, including those with iron deficiency without anemia. Screening for iron deficiency without anemia may be warranted for children at risk.
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            The relationship between food literacy and dietary intake in adolescents: a systematic review.

            The aim of the present systematic review was to investigate the evidence on the association between food literacy and adolescents' dietary intake.
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              Food Insecurity, Food Based Coping Strategies and Suboptimal Dietary Practices of Adolescents in Jimma Zone Southwest Ethiopia

              Despite the high prevalence of adolescent food insecurity in Ethiopia, there is no study which documented its association with suboptimal dietary practices. The objective of this study is to determine the association between adolescent food insecurity and dietary practices. We used data on 2084 adolescents in the age group of 13–17 years involved in the first round survey of the five year longitudinal family study in Southwest Ethiopia. Adolescents were selected using residence stratified random sampling methods. Food insecurity was measured using scales validated in developing countries. Dietary practices were measured using dietary diversity score, food variety score and frequency of consuming animal source food. Multivariable regression models were used to compare dietary behaviors by food security status after controlling for socio-demographic and economic covariates. Food insecure adolescents had low dietary diversity score (P<0.001), low mean food variety score (P<0.001) and low frequency of consuming animal source foods (P<0.001). After adjusting for other variables in a multivariable logistic regression model, adolescent food insecurity (P<0.001) and rural residence (P<0.001) were negatively associated with the likelihood of having a diversified diet (P<0.001) and frequency of consuming animal source foods, while a high household income tertile was positively associated. Similarly, multivariable linear regression model showed that adolescent food insecurity was negatively associated with food variety score, while residence in semi-urban areas (P<0.001), in urban areas (P<0.001) and high household income tertile (P = 0.013) were positively associated. Girls were less likely to have diversified diet (P = 0.001) compared with boys. Our findings suggest that food insecurity has negative consequence on optimal dietary intake of adolescents. Food security interventions should look into ways of targeting adolescents to mitigate these dietary consequences and provide alternative strategies to improve dietary quality of adolescents in Southwest Ethiopia.

                Author and article information

                Int J Food Sci
                Int J Food Sci
                International Journal of Food Science
                27 March 2023
                : 2023
                : 1804763
                1Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, University for Development Studies, P. O. Box TL, 1350 Tamale, Ghana
                2Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, Ghana
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: James Owusu-Kwarteng

                Author information
                Copyright © 2023 Michael Akenteng Wiafe et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 24 January 2023
                : 16 March 2023
                : 18 March 2023
                Research Article


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