Author(s): Kuche Desalegn , Singh Pragya *, Moges Debebe
Diet is one of the prime determinants of health and nutritional status. An inadequate diet, poor in both quality and quantity, is one of the major reasons for high levels of malnutrition in women. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess dietary practices and to identify factors associated with sub-optimal dietary practices of pregnant women in Wondo Genet District, Southern Ethiopiain. A two-stage cluster sampling technique was used to select a representative sample of 153 pregnant women aged 19-49 years from three rural villages (“Kebeles”). About 43.8% of study participants commonly skipped lunch and 24.2% skipped breakfast. About 21% of the pregnant mothers restricted their food intake. Majority (75.2 %) of study participants did not take any additional meal during pregnancy. Factors like not growing enset, eating no legumes and no additional meal have a significant association with food restriction habit of the respondents. Taking no additional meal was significantly associated with family size, growing khat, not growing vegetables and fruits, and no consumption of white vegetables and roots. Skipping meal was significantly associated with family size and number of pregnancy. The dietary practice of the pregnant women in study area was suboptimal. Pregnant women in the study area suffered from suboptimal dietary practices such as taking no additional meal during pregnancy, skipping meals, food restriction and taking less diversified diet.