Nutrition Knowledge, Attitudes and Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages among High School Students in Kakamega County, Kenya
M’mbaya, Fridah K.
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Diet-related health problems are on the rise as a result of high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) among the general population most especially young adults and adolescents in developed countries. Consumers’ choices and consumption of food are determined by several factors such as attitude towards food and nutrition knowledge which enable them to make informed decisions on the choice of food to eat. There is a paucity of data on the relationship between attitudes and nutrition knowledge of Kenyan secondary school students and their SSBs consumption behavior. Therefore, the study sought to establish the type and frequencies of SSBs consumed by students. It further sought to establish nutritional knowledge and attitudes of students on and towards SSBs consumption. It hypothesized that sociodemographic factors, nutritional knowledge, and attitude were not associated with SSBs consumption. This study employed a descriptive cross-sectional study design among 249randomly selected students in form three and four respectively. Likuyani Sub-county was purposively selected due to the availability of different types of schools. Probability proportion to size sampling technique was utilized to establish the number of respondents in the various schools. Students were randomly selected in each class till the sample size was achieved. A structured questionnaire with a food-frequency sub-section was utilized to collect data in the selected schools. Data collected were coded and analyzed using Statistics Package for Social Sciences version 21. Frequencies and percentages were utilized to describe data. Chi-square analysis and binary logistic regression analysis were used to process data on food frequency and presented using frequency tables and cross-tabulations. Associations were considered significant at p<0.05. Descriptive statistics show that a high level of sugar-consumption was observed among 53.8% percent of respondents. On nutritional knowledge, 73.9% of respondents had moderate knowledge on SSB consumption while 57% expressed positive attitudes towards SSB consumption. Bivariate analysis indicated that only gender χ2 (df) (1.401, N =249) p=0.03. and age χ2 (df) (9.038 N=249), p=0.029 were significantly associated with the level of SSB consumption. Regression analysis validates age, (A.O.R= 0.622, p=0.03) attitude (AOR= 0.622, p=0.045).The study established that despite the moderate level of nutritional l knowledge by majority of the students, consumption of SSBs was found to be high. To decrease SSB consumption, novel nutritional awareness is needed to change attitudes of high school students. Concerted effort between the school and parents are needed with a view to strengthen nutritional advocacy for healthy diet and nutritional knowledge. The government, other organisations and the community should work together to help restrict the sale and provision of SSBs in schools and other Public places, and help to implement initiatives to support healthy drink choices.