Prevalence of Dietary Supplements Use and Dietary Practices Among Teachers in Public Secondary Schools in Kikuyu, Kiambu County, Kenya
Gikwa, Jane Njambi
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The dietary supplements market is growing at an alarming rate despite dietary source being acknowledged as the primary and priority source of nutrients. Kenya’s dietary supplements market has experienced a steady growth since 2009 owing to increasingly busy lifestyles, growing health consciousness and disposable income among the general population. Little has been documented about use of dietary supplements in Kenya despite their increase in popularity. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of dietary supplements use and dietary practices among teachers in public secondary schools in Kikuyu, Kiambu County. Teachers were chosen to represent the general population because it’s a homogeneous group, with average Kenyan income, evenly distributed across the country and hence opinion shapers in the community. The study adopted cross-sectional analytical study design with qualitative and quantitative methods in data collection, analysis and presentation. Researcher administered questionnaire and key informant interview guides were used to elicit information from the participants. Simple random sampling was used to select a sample of 178 teachers from 17 public secondary schools located in Kikuyu Sub-County while purposive sampling was used to select a sample of the key informants. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 22. Data from the 24 hour dietary recall was analyzed using Nutri-survey to obtain specific nutrients consumed. A P-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. The mean age of the teachers was 38.53 ± 9.75 years with most being between the ages of 41-50 years. Majority of the participants were females (60.7%), married (65.7%) had an undergraduate university degree (67.4%), and earned an average household income of >Ksh 50,000 (53.9%). Out of the possible 14 food groups, the mean DDS was 7.42 ± 1.40. The mean intakes for vitamin A, B6, iron and zinc (2300±4432, 1.43 ± 0.69; 28.39 ± 24.7; 14.40 ± 5.30 respectively) were found adequate as opposed to those of vitamin C, D and E as well as calcium (55.30 ± 27.09; 6.906 ± 4.59; 10.12 ± 5.697 and 703.04 ± 420.87 respectively) that fell below the RNIs. Consumption patterns showed high intake of starchy staples with rice and ugali having the highest intakes. There was moderate intake of proteins with high consumption of animal source foods while consumption of fruits and vegetables was low and moderate respectively. The prevalence of dietary supplements use was 28.7% with the most commonly consumed supplements being omega 3 and 6 (60.8%), calcium (56.9%) and multivitamins (19.6%). The main reasons for supplements use were medical reasons (59.6%), prevent deficiencies (29.8%) and to promote good health (25.5%). Key informants were used to give an insight on DS use. The main sources of information on dietary supplements use were health workers (68.6%) and internet (62.7%). Dietary supplements use was significantly associated with age (P<0.001), gender (P<0.000), marital status (P<0.006) and household income (P<0.049), with those above 40 years of age being 3.25 times more likely to use DS (AOR:3.2;C.I;1811-8.956; P value=0.023). Chi square test further showed that DDS was significantly associated with DS use (P<0.045). Furthermore, there was significant relationship (p<0.05) between nutrient intake (vitamin A, C, iron and calcium) and dietary supplements use. Due to the increased number of people (28.7% prevalence) using dietary supplements among the general population, there is need for a solid foundation of regulatory framework to forestall consumer exploitation and promote their safety as well as prevent abuse of the products by consumers.