Background/Aim: Pregnancy is a critical period during which adequate nutrition is considered an important factor that affects birth outcome and the health of the mother. Maternal diets during pregnancy have thus been deemed critical since the diet must meet the nutrient requirement for both the child and the mother for satisfactory birth outcome. Research has clearly shown that a diverse diet is strongly associated with nutrient adequacy and better maternal nutritional status. The purpose of this study was to assess dietary diversity, nutrient intake and nutritional status among pregnant women in Laikipia County, Kenya.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional analytical study. The study comprised of 254 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Results: The study revealed that the mean Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) was 6.84 ± 1.46 SD The mean intake of energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat, zinc, iron, folate and vitamin C was inadequate while those of Vitamin A and calcium were adequate. In respect to nutritional status, 19.3% were undernourished based on Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) while 16.9% were anemic based on haemoglobin levels. The result further showed that dietary diversity was positively correlated with nutrient intake and nutritional status.
Conclusion: Dietary diversity is crucial in ensuring adequate nutrient intake and nutritional status among pregnant women.
Dietary Diversity, Nutrient Intake, Nutritional Status, Pregnant Women.